Critical Questions to Start Designing a Test• What is the purpose of the test?• What are the objectives of the test?• How will the test specifications reflect both the purpose and the objectives?• How will the test tasks be selected and the separate items arranged?• What kind of scoring, grading, and/or feedback expected?
1. What is the purpose of the test?• Why are you creating this test, or why was it created by a textbook writer?• What is its significance relative to your course (for example, to evaluate overall proficiency or place a student in a course)?• How important is the test compared to other student performance?• What will its impact be on you and your students before and after the assessment?
2. What are the objectives of the test?• What exactly are you trying to find out?• What language knowledge and/or skills are you assessing?
3. How will the test specifications reflect both the purpose and the objectives?• To design or evaluate a test, you must make sure that the test has a structure that logically follows from the unit or lesson it is testing.• The class objectives should be present in the test through appropriate task types and weights, a logical sequence, and a variety of tasks.
4. Selection & Arrangement of Tasks?• The test tasks need to be practical.• For the test to be valid, they should also mirror tasks of the course, lesson or segment.• They should be authentic (i.e. reflect real‐world language use).• The tasks must be ones that can be evaluated reliably by the teacher.
5. Scoring, Grading, Feedback?• The appropriate form of feedback on tests will vary, depending on the purpose.• For every test, the way results are reported is an important consideration.• Under some circumstances, a letter grade or score may be appropriate.• Other circumstances may require that the teacher provide detailed feedback to the students.
Aptitude tests• To predict a person’s future success in learning a (any) foreign language• Taken before actual learning
Proficiency tests• Measure general ability in a language• Regardless of previous training
Placement tests• To assign students to classes/programs appropriate to their level of proficiency• Define characteristics of each level of proficiency
Diagnostic tests• Identify students’ strengths and weaknesses• To benefit future instruction• Difficult to construct. Lack of good ones.
Achievement tests• Measure how successful students are in achieving objectives of a lesson/course/curriculum• Closely related to the content of a particular lesson/course/ curriculum• Syllabus content approach OR course objectives approach?• Final achievement tests / progress achievement tests (formative assessment)• Frequency?
Practical Steps To Test Construction1. Assessing Clear, Unambiguous Objectives2. Drawing up Test Specifications3. Devising Test Tasks4. Designing Multiple-Choice Test Items