What is the best word for a multiple choice test that only serves to show the students their own progress or lack thereof?

Optimally, the word or phrase should be panic-avoiding. Literally saying "today we fill out a multiple choice test that will not be graded" will lead to panic after the first half of the phrase.

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    I don't see what is wrong in scaring them a little bit? And for in which region are you teaching? The answer of @Stéphane Gimenez is probably the best in France, but in Quebec they will stare at you blindly and probably panic a bit more.
    – Zenon
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 3:43

3 Answers 3


Usually, a multiple choice test is called un QCM (Questionnaire à Choix Multiple).

If this test is not graded, we will use the adjective blanc like in “balle à blanc” (blank bullet).

Thus, you could say “un QCM blanc”.

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    J'ai rarement entendu "QCM blanc" (quoique je suis sur qu'il s'emploie). Par contre, "examen blanc" est tres courant.
    – user691
    Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 19:26

You can also say: QCM d'auto-évaluation

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    QCM d'auto-évaluation suggère qu'ils vont le corriger eux-même, en disposant des réponses. Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 2:32
  • J'avais l'impression que l'auteur de la question voulait insister pour ne pas "traumatiser" les élèves. Avec "auto-évaluation", ça insiste sur le fait qu'il s'évalueront eux-même et que donc ils ne seront pas "jugés" par qq1 d'autre. Mais, oui, ça peut vouloir dire qu'ils se corrigeront eux-même, mais pas forcément. Ça insiste surtout sur le fait qu'ils le font pour eux-même, pour connaître leur niveau.
    – oli
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 11:10

When I was in high school, my teachers would talk about a similar exercise as a test formatif or examen formatif, since it helped you learn in an examination situation.

I'm not exactly sure if it was the same thing you're describing though. In my situation, the tests were graded, but they did not count in the students final grades. They were literally practice exams. Students knew what they were before doing them, so no panic, but all the elements would be that of an actual exam so that the students could know how they would perform if that had been the real exam and could adjust their studying accordingly.

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