Mary McGee Wood - Assessment and Feedback - Training and Consultancy

Questions: explicit or implicit?

Is everything one needs to answer a question in the question, or does it implicitly test knowledge or understanding?

Implicit questioning can be a good way of adding depth to selected-answer questions. Here is a nice example of a question with significant implicit content, from the UK Civil Aviation Authority's theory exams for the Private Pilot's License:

At about 1400Z under clear skies at an inland aerodrome in Kent, the surface wind was observed to be 22025kt. The most likely wind velocity at 2000ft agl would be:

A - 26040kt.
B - 24035kt.
C - 22020kt.
D - 23030kt.

This implicitly requires one to understand the encoding of velocity, before remembering the formula for predicting differences in velocity at different altitudes, and applying it.