A test developer's choice of which style or format to use when developing a written test is usually arbitrary given that there is no single invariant standard for testing. Be that as it may, certain test styles and format have become more widely used than others. Below is a list of those formats of test items that are widely used by educators and test developers to construct paper or computer-based tests. As a result, these tests may consist of only one type of test item format (., multiple choice test, essay test) or may have a combination of different test item formats (., a test that has multiple choice and essay items).
While many artistic figures were perhaps hampered by their own creativity in tackling the relentless rote learning required by the exam system, others succumbed to the temptation to cheat, and suffered the consequences of being caught. The renowned Ming period painter, Tang Ying, resurrected his career through his painting after his hopes of an official position were shattered when he was caught cheating in the exam hall. Before winning influential friends and patrons through his talent, Tang was reduced to poverty as a consequence of his dishonesty.