Reply To: Blank circles for answer choices

Home Forums Nemeth Code for Math and Science Blank circles for answer choices Reply To: Blank circles for answer choices

Lindy Walton

The purpose of the circles is for students with pencils to fill in the answer choice bubble. In the work I do for individuals in a school setting, I have always been asked to replace the circles with letters a b c d using the same style of punctuation as is used for the numbered problems, in this case a single closing parenthesis. I have also seen this done on standardized tests. However it gets to be a problem when the layout on the print page does not arrange the answer choices vertically. With this type of layout, it is not clear which item is b) and which is c):

o wood o paper

o glass o pencil

If you choose this method, you need to be consistent with your lettering and state how you are doing this in the notes to the teacher (in print) so the student's answers b) or c) are not graded incorrectly by the teacher.

If you use a 2-cell dash, as Braille Formats suggests (see below) the braille reader can mark their answer choice with a pencil.

I am not the Braille Formats expert, but let's look at Section 10 "Exercise Material."

BF 10.4.4 says "All answer choices are listed vertically and begin in the same cell."
We do the same in a Nemeth transcription, following the Nemeth Code.

BF 10.4.4.b says this: "It is necessary to make a judgment call when answer choices are unnumbered/unlettered, and there is no discernible order. Be consistent once it has been decided to list items in horizontal or vertical order." Sample 10-2 illustrates this--these answer choices do NOT have any identifiers or circle bubbles. The braille copy does not add anything.

Now I'm looking in Section 20 "Tests."

20.4.4 Answer Choices
a. The vertical or horizontal print arrangement of answer choices may be important and affect grading. The requesting agency should decide if items are listed in horizontal or vertical order.

b. When not advised by the requesting agency, the transcriber lists answer choices vertically in a single column, whether the answer choices are in a single column or in multiple columns.

d. Print may show a circle or other symbol to be filled in by the student. This symbol typically is not included. Use a dash before the question when an agency requests that the symbol be indicated.

Example 20-4 shows a 2-cell dash followed by a space. Note the order of answer choices.

PART 2 OF YOUR QUESTION: If the identifiers are printed inside of a circle you can braille them simply as numerals or letters, ignoring the circle. In a math context this can be confusing so I generally braille such identifiers inside of parentheses. Of course you would state this treatment in a TN at the beginning of the volume. I'm not finding any guidelines about this in Braille Formats, but maybe it would be a good idea to post this question to that topic expert.