Test construction

Here are a few general guidelines to help you get started: Did I test what I taught? Classroom tests can also be categorized based on what they are intended to measure.

Reasonable sources for "items that should be on the test" are class objectives, key concepts covered in lectures, main ideas, and so on. Which questions proved to be the most difficult? Measures are also more likely to apply across populations.

Let us say that we are using a grammatical scale which deals with how acceptably words, phrases, and sentences are formed and pronounced in the respondents' utterances. Was the level of difficulty appropriate? Their purpose is to provide feedback, so students can adjust how they are learning or teachers can adjust how they are teaching.

The Tested Response Behavior Items can also assess different types of response behavior. These are problems of low reliability. But then the tester would be introducing yet another factor, namely, short-term memory ability, since the respondents would have to remember all the alternatives long enough to make an informed choice.

If you want to use words like explain or discuss, be sure that you use them consistently and that students know what you mean when you use Test construction. Another aspect of test validity of particular importance for classroom teachers is content-related validity.

Respondents may be tested for accuracy in pronunciation or grammar. Thus, getting the tense wrong in the above example, "We have had a great time at your house last night" could be viewed as a Test construction error, whereas in another case, producing "I don't have what to say" "I really have no excuse" by translating directly from the appropriate Hebrew language could be considered a major error since it is not only ungrammatical but also could stigmatize the speaker as rude and unconcerned, rather than apologetic.

Test Construction

D being in pain Integrative — An integrative item would test more than one point or objective at a time. Were the questions worded clearly? Similarly, it is not unusual to find essays that do not provide responses we have anticipated. Make sure the correct answer is not given away by its being noticeably shorter, longer, or more complex than the distractors.

February 22, at There are, of course, other language skills that cross-cut these four skills, such as vocabulary. Tests designed to measure knowledge are usually made up of a set of individual questions.

On the other hand, your test may not have measured what you intended it to.


Further, teachers place more weight on their own tests in determining grades and student progress than they do on assessments designed by others or on other data sources Boothroyd, et al.

However, the empirical method shares many of the strengths and weaknesses of atheoretical item creation with inductive methods, while also having an initial item pool more likely to relate to the topic of interest.

Test construction strategies

If you want students to study in both depth and breadth, don't give them a choice among topics. You can help students prepare for the test by clarifying course goals as well as reviewing material.

Items are traditionally constructed without expectation for how they will be answered by each group.

Constructing tests

Make sure that the essay question is specific enough to invite the level of detail you expect in the answer. Use consistent language in stating goals, in talking in class, and in writing test questions to describe expected outcomes. Item-Response Format The item-response format can be fixed, structured, or open-ended.

A quality teacher-made test should follow valid item-writing rules.


Most students will assume that the test is designed to measure what is most important for them to learn in the course. The Skill Tested The language skills that we test include the more receptive skills on a continuum — listening and reading, and the more productive skills — speaking and writing.

Questions can be of two types: It would seem that this definition is perhaps too broad for practical purposes.

Special Connections

The Intellectual Operation Required Items may require test takers to employ different levels of intellectual operation in order to produce a response Valette,after Bloom et al. With regard to language ability, both Bachman and Palmer and Alderson detail the many types of knowledge that respondents may need to draw on to perform well on a given item or task: After this, items are created that are believed to measure each facet of the construct of interest.

Questions can be of two types: Subjective — A free composition may be more subjective in nature if the scorer is not looking for any one right answer, but rather for a series of factors creativity, style, cohesion and coherence, grammar, and mechanics.the cultivation of a test, generally with a concise or obvious goal to meet the typical standards of validity, dependability, norms, and other aspects of test standardization.

The reason(s) for giving a test will help you determine features such as length, format, level of detail required in answers, and the time frame for returning results to the students. Maintain consistency between goals for the course, methods of teaching, and the tests used to measure achievement of goals.

Design test items that allow students to show a range of learning. That is, students who have not fully mastered everything in the course should still be able to demonstrate how much they have learned.

Test Construction. Writing items requires a decision about the nature of the item or question to which we ask students to respond, that is, whether discreet or integrative, how we will score the item; for example, objectively or subjectively, the skill we purport to test, and so on.

Pre-employment testing provides concrete results that are standardized across. Quality Test Construction [Teacher Tools] [Case Studies] A good classroom test is valid and reliable. Validity is the quality of a test which measures what it is supposed to measure. It is the degree to which evidence, common sense, or theory supports any interpretations or conclusions about a student based on his/her test performance.

Test construction
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