THE CONSTRUCTION OF APROPER TESTAuthors:Jorge CastilloArianny Rodríguez
INTRODUCTION One of the most used instruments in the academic enviroenment to evaluate students is the test. A test has to have these characteristcs in order to be a proper instrument of evaluation. There are different views or perspectives on which characteristics a proper test should have.
STEPS IN CONSTRUCTING A TEST: A) PLANNING In constructing a test is to determine the content, the scope of the test, as well as the manner in which test items should be developed. In the planning stage, one should determine the materials upon which test items are to be based
B) WRITING TEST ITEMS Instructions must be quite clear to the examinees. Complicated syntax, difficult vocabulary, and ambiguous directions must be absolutely avoided. The items should not test the examinee’s general knowledge. All the choices or alternatives must be grammatically correct by themselves.Ali ------------ to school yesterday.1. went 3. has go2. goed 4. have gone
Items should not start with a blank. In the same item, the alternatives should be of similar length, difficulty, and type of grammatical structures.
C) REVIEWING TEST ITEMS Test construction is a collaborative activity. An individual, no matter how expert he may be, is potentially subject to making mistakes. Test items should be reviewed by a team of experts.
D) PRE-TESTING Pre-testing, a very crucial step in test constructing, refers to administering the test to a group of examinees who are similar in knowledge to the target group.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A PROPER TEST Validity: A test is considered as valid when it measureswhat it is supposed to measure.
RELIABILITY: It is the extent to which an experiment, test orany measuring procedure shows the same result onrepeated trials.
OBJECTIVITY:It means that if the test is marked by differentpeople, the score will be the same.
COMPREHENSIVENESS: A good test should include items from differentareas of material assigned for the test. e.g ( dialogue- composition - comprehension - grammar -vocabulary - orthography - dictation - handwriting )
SIMPLICITY: Simplicity means that the test should be writtenin a clear , correct and simple language , it isimportant to keep the method of testing as simple aspossible while still testing the skill you intend to test . (Avoid ambiguous questions and ambiguousinstructions ) .
SCORABILITY Scorability means that each item inthe test has its own mark related to thedistribution of marks given by TheMinistry of Education.
PRACTICALITY It is the relationship between the resources that will be required in the design, development and use of the test and the resources that will be avaliable for these activities. Practicality: ___Avaliable Resources_ Required Resources
(TYPES OF RESOURCES) Human Resources. (e.g. Test writers, test administrators, raters, among others). Material Resources: Space (rooms for test development and administration) Equipment (typewriters, computers, etc) Materials (paper, pictures, library resources) Time (developing time and time for specific tasks)
WASHBACK There are numerous definitions of washbacks, here are some of them: There is a natural tendency for both teachers and students to tailor their classroom activities to the demands of the test, especially when the test is very important to the future of the students, and pass rates are used as a measure of teacher success. This influence of the test on the classroom (referred to as washback by language testers) is, of course, very important; this washback effect can be either beneficial or harmful. (p. 17)
the washback effect, sometimes referred to as the systemic validity of a test. Refers to the impact of a test on classroom pedagogy, curriculum development, and educational policy. Washback effect refers to the impact (or effect) that tests have on teaching and learning. The concept of backwash deals with the unforeseen side-effects of testing and not to the intended effects when the primary goal of the examination is the control of curricula.
CONCLUSIONS Creating a valid test is not an easy task, as teachers we have to very careful to follow the instructions that we have seen in this presentation. Otherwise our test are not going to be a valid instrument of evaluation.