It is very likely that, at least once in their lifetime, everyone has answered a multiple-choice test. Multiple-choice tests are considered an effective technique for knowledge assessment, requiring a short response time and with the possibility of covering a broad set of topics. Nevertheless, when it comes to their creation, it can be a time-consuming and labour-intensive task. Here, the generation of multiple-choice tests aided by computer can reduce these drawbacks: to the human assessor is attributed the final task of approving or rejecting the generated test items, depending on their quality.
In this paper we present
, a system that employs a fully automatic approach to generate multiple-choice tests. In a first offline step, a set of lexico-syntactic patterns are bootstrapped by using several question/answer seed pairs and leveraging the redundancy of the Web. Afterwards, in an online step, the patterns are used to select sentences in a text document from which answers can be extracted and the respective questions built. In the end, several filters are applied to discard low quality items and distractors are named entities that comply with the question category, extracted from the same text.