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There are three problems: 1. All options of question are not just below the question, they are moving to the next column. (this can be sorted out by using \vspace \vfill \mbox etc.) Is there any way so that it can be controlled dynamically? 2. The spacing between options. Is there something that can be written in the preamble part so that spacing can be fixed. 3. I want to defined enumerate as A). Is it possible to make a global definition?

\documentclass[11pt,a4paper,twoside]{book}
\usepackage{multicol}
\begin{document}
\begin{multicols}{2}
\begin{enumerate}
\item
$$\sqrt{9x^2}$$
If $x>0$, which of the following is equivalent to the given expression?\\
\begin{enumerate}
\item[A)]   $3x$\\
\item[B)]   $3x^2$\\
\item[C)]   $18x$\\
\item[D)]   $18x^4$\\
\end{enumerate}
\end{enumerate}
\end{multicols}
\end{document}

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  1. You can decide to stop a column with \columnbreak.

  2. You can decide the spacing between columns by putting \setlength\columnsep{10pt} before the \begin{multicols}{2}. 10pt is the default value.

  3. Use \renewcommand{\theenumi}{\Alph{enumi}}. See this thread here for in depth information.

Also, I'm pretty sure you won't like the column to go all the way to the bottom of the of the page, because it looks ugly. That means you'll need to add \vspace*{\fill} just before \columnbreak.

Which means your code would look like this:

\documentclass[11pt,a4paper,twoside]{book}
\usepackage{multicol}

\renewcommand{\theenumi}{\Alph{enumi}} %putting the numbers as upper-case letters
\setlength\columnsep{10pt} %setting the space between columns
\begin{document}
    \begin{multicols*}{2}
        \begin{enumerate}
            \item
            $$\sqrt{9x^2}$$
            If $x>0$, which of the following is equivalent to the given expression?\\
            \begin{enumerate}
                \item[A)]   $3x$\\
                \item[B)]   $3x^2$\\
                \item[C)]   $18x$\\
                \item[D)]   $18x^4$\\
            \end{enumerate}
            \vspace*{\fill} %so it won't justify to the bottom of the page
            \columnbreak %telling to go to the next column
            \item
            $$\sqrt{4y^2}$$
            If $y>0$, which of the following is equivalent to the given expression?\\
            \begin{enumerate}
                \item[A)]   $3y$\\
                \item[B)]   $3y^2$\\
                \item[C)]   $18y$\\
                \item[D)]   $18y^4$\\
                \item[E)]   $2y$\\
                \item[A)]   $3y$\\
                \item[B)]   $3y^2$\\
                \item[C)]   $18y$\\
                \item[D)]   $18y^4$\\
                \item[E)]   $2y$\\
            \end{enumerate}
        \end{enumerate}
    \end{multicols*}
\end{document}

Here's the result:

  • thanks for your prompt reply, I prevent the first column to go all the way to the bottom by putting \vspace*{\fill\mbox{}}. Is there any way to specify the spacing between choices (A to D) globally? – Praveen25488 Mar 6 at 6:08

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