What is test in Education?
A test is a systematic procedure for measuring a sample of a student’s behaviour under specific conditions. A test is a set of problems, a series of questions for evaluating a student’s abilities and performance.
A test may consist of a number of questions to be answered, a series of problems to be solved and a set of tasks to be assigned to fulfil. A test is an instrument by which we can obtain our desired data both in quantitative or qualitative and the same data can be used for evaluation purposes.
The questions, the problems or the tasks of the test are called items of the test or test items.
Standardized Test Construction:
Steps In Test Construction:
1) Planning The Test:
The first and foremost important step in the test construction is its planning. To collect valid, reliable and useful data about the student for the purpose of students evaluation is the planning of the test to achieve the desired goal.
Therefore, before going to prepare for any test one must keep in mind the following points.
(i) What is required to be measured?
(ii) contents area to be included in the test.
(iii) What types of test items are to be included whether it will be a subjective type or objective type test or mixed type.
Three points should be considered in the 1st step.
(a) Determining The Objectives Of Test:
A test must serve the required purpose whether the purpose is just to check the knowledge of the students, whether the requisite skill of students to enter into the course, whether it is to check the teaching-learning process evaluation.
(b) Preparation Of table Specification/Blue Print:
Table of specification preparation is the most significant task in the planning stage. Which serve as a guide for the test construction.
Table of specification or ‘Blue Print’ is a three dimensional chart showing list of instructional objectives, weightage to content areas(It indicates the area in which the students are expected to show their performance.) and types of items in its dimensions(the test construction can broadly be divided into two types like objective type items and essay type items.)
(c) Selecting Appropriate Item Types:
Keeping in view about the learning outcomes to be measured appropriate item types should be selected. Naming supply type items are useful when the outcome is written.
Selection type or recognition type items are useful when the learning outcomes are to be measured. Keeping in view, the learning outcome chooses the appropriate types of items.
2. Preparing The Test:
In the 2nd phase of test construction after planning the test is to prepare the test items for the required purpose. The preparation stage includes the following three functions.
(a) Preparing The Test Items:
(i). Test items must be appropriate for the learning outcome to be measured so that the test items must be in accordance with the performance described in the specific learning outcome.
(ii). Test items should measure all types of instructional objectives and the complete content area.
(iii). The test items should be clean and free from ambiguity and an appropriate vocabulary should be used and avoid using awkward sentences.
(iv). The test items should be neither too difficult nor too easy but they must have an appropriate average difficulty level or difficulty level may be maintained according to the desired outcome from the test.
(v). The test item must be free from unintentional clues in the statement of the item which can help the pupil to answer correctly further it should be free from technical errors.
(vi). Try to prepare test items s free from racial, ethnic and sexual biases and focus should be on the culture fair item.
3. Try Out Of The Test:
When the test is ready or prepared now it is time to check the test validity, reliability and usability. Defective and ambiguous items can be determined by trying out the test, which will help us to identify the difficulty level of the test and to determine the discriminating power of the items.
Try Out Involves Two Important Functions:
(a) Administration Of The Test:
Administration means administering the prepared test on a sample of students and its effectiveness depends upon a fair administration. All those factors must be controlled that may affect the testing procedure should be controlled.
A conducive environment should be provided for the administration of tests. The environment includes the physical and psychological environment.
The physical environment includes proper sitting arrangement, proper light and ventilation and adequate space for invigilation.
Psychological environment means those aspects, which can influence the mental condition of the pupil.
(b) Scoring The Test:
Try to score the test in a fair way it is better to provide a scoring key (The scoring key is a sample answer script on which the correct answers are recorded). For scoring essay type items separate instructions for scoring each learning objective may be provided.
4. Evaluating The Test:
The most important step in the test construction process is its evaluation. Evaluation of the test determines the quality of the test and the quality of the responses.
Quality of the test means how good and dependable the test is in terms of its validity and reliability.
Quality of the responses means which items are misfit in the test and required to be replaced.
Evaluating The Test Involves Following Functions:
(a) Item Analysis:
Item analysis is a procedure by which we can check the intended function, an appropriate difficulty level of the test, irrelevant clues and other defects in the test and the effectiveness in the distracters in multiple-choice type items.
(b) Determining The Validity Of Test:
At the time of evaluation, it is estimated whether the test measures what it intends to measures and what the test maker intends to measure.
(c) Determining The Reliability Of Test:
Test reliability of the test is a measure of its consistency of measurement or it is the measure of the same quantity when two different testers administer it to an individual on two different occasions.
(d) Determining The Usability Of The Test:
Try out and the evaluation process indicates to what extent a test is usable in general classroom conditions on scoring, time and economy point of view as well as to determine how far a test is usable from the administration.