Steps for Constructing The Educational Test

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There are 6 steps for constructing the educational test: Planning the test, Preparing the test items and directions, Review the test, Pretesting the material and analyzing the results, Assembling the final form of the test, and Reproducing the test.

Planning the test

Effective test requires careful planning. The following steps provide a brief guide to planning of tests of English as a second language.

Determining the General Course Objectives. The purpose of this step are to increase skill in listening comprehension, oral production, reading and writing

Dividing the General Course Objectives into Their Components. In this step, we need to break down into specific components

Establishing the General Design of the Test. At this point, two important factors must be considered: the time to be provided for testing and the degree of speededness we wish to build into our test

Preparing the test items and directions

Additional Notes on the Preparation of ItemsAs items are written, it is a good procedure to type each one on a separate slip of paper with the answer on the back.
Writing Test DirectionsTest directions should be brief, simple to understand and free from possible ambiguities. The purpose of test directions is to allow all examines to begin the problems on an equal footing.

Reviewing the items

When the items have all been written, they should be set aside for a few days before being reviewed by the writer. Careful review will often identify items which otherwise would be lost later in pretesting or would arouse the criticism of the subject-matter specialists were they to appear in the final version of the test.

Pretesting The Material

All the items have first been tried out on a fairly large number of subjects of the same kind as those for whom the test is being designed.

Items are said to be statistically satisfactory if they meet two requirements

Neither too hard nor too easy

If they discriminate between those examines who know the material and those who do not

Pretesting also provides an opportunity for the test maker to try out the test directions and to check estimated time required for. If a large number of subjects are unable to answer items at the anticipated rate of speed, the test maker may wish to reduce the number of items or increase the time allowance on the final form of the test.

Analyzing the pretest results

The items should be analyzed to determine their effectiveness in terms of two criteria:
Determining Item Difficulty
Determining Item Discrimination

Assembling the final form

In most testing situations it is advisable to begin with rather easy items, lead gradually to more difficult problems and with those items which only the best candidates can answer correctly.

Reproducing the test

It is as clearly as possible
Test material should be space so readability
No multiple-choice item should be begun on one page and continued on the next
When blanks are left for the answer items, a guide line should be provided
It is advisable to indicate at the bottom of each page
If each part of test is separately timed, the directions for each part should occupy
The use of a separate cover sheet will prevent examinees from looking at the test material. The cover sheet is the best place for giving general information and instruction about the test

Harris, David P. (1969). Testing English as a Second Language. United States of America: McGraw-Hill, Inc.

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