Questions are essential for effective teaching, especially when they invite the learner to engage in high-level reflection. Well-formulated questions can also become a powerful tool for assessing teaching and learning. To guide you through this important exercise, here are some sample questions presented by the level of difficulty and question type.

Questions by Level of Difficulty

Quiz questions typically check students’ ability to remember or understand previously learned material. While this is essential, you can further challenge your students by designing questions that require them to analyze, evaluate, or create knowledge, as shown in the section below (arranged by level of difficulty, from higher to lower).


  • How would you improve …?
  • Can you develop a proposal which would …?


  • Which … do you find most convincing and why?
  • How would you defend the argument that …?


  • Which events led to …?
  • What inferences can you make about …?


  • How would you use your knowledge of… to …?
  • What would result if …?


  • Compare and contrast …..
  • How would you describe …?


  • How would you define …?
  • List the …. in order.

Higher-Order Questions by Function

Higher-order questions can serve a variety of functions. They can ask students to compare, evaluate, describe causes and effects, etc. The section below contains further examples you may find helpful when designing quiz questions.


  • Compare and contrast …
  • How are …. and …. similar/different?


  • To what extent ….?
  • How would you rate …?

Cause and effect

  • What might explain ….?
  • What were the main effects of …?


  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of …?
  • Why is …. a problem?

Request for evidence

  • Can you provide evidence for …?
  • How do we know that ….?


  • Can you give an example of …?
  • Can you tell me more about …?


  • What would happen if …?
  • How would things have been different if …?

Linking or extension

  • How does this apply to …?
  • What would be a counter-argument?

Summary or synthesis

  • What were the key points?
  • What did you learn and what remains unclear?