What is a Test?
According to Brown (1976) who handles Testing
from a psychological perspective , Test
is defined as a systematic procedure for measuring a sample of behavior. The phrase "systematic procedure" indicates that a Test
s constructed, administered and scored according to predetermined rules. It also indicates that Test
items are chosen to fit the Test
specification, and the same items are administered to all persons who share the same time limits.
Value of Testing
may be used to measure students' achievement of What
should have been taught, but not necessarily What
has actually been taught. Very student likes to know how much he /she has achieved, to What
extent he / she has achieved and where he stands among his classmates. In addition, the teacher can give tests
to measure his students' progress and What
they can do and What
they can not do, and therefore how successful the teaching has been.
The student's result may urge him to compete with others. A low mark could be a motivation for him to study hard. On the other hand a high score makes him feel satisfied. As it is said" success leads to further success.
It is unfortunately that many students mainly for tests. In fact the majority of our students don't study unless a Test
is announced. Thus, tests
are probably the only encouragement for then to work hard. In other words tests
encourage students to take their learning seriously.
Sometimes we need to diagnose problems and difficulties in handling functions, notions and concepts involving language skills and sub-skills. In other words, some tests
are designed to find out our students weakness. So a remedial work could be prepared to treat such weakness.
Tests are sometimes needed for the teacher to evaluate his own teaching. The feedback he gets from the Test
helps him a lot modify his teaching.
Tests may be used successfully in educational experiments in order to determine a certain method of teaching or a certain hypothesis. In this respect a pre-test and a post-test are usually given to an experimental and control groups.
are sometimes designed to determine which students are to be promoted from a grade to a higher one. Without Testing
promotion will be automatic or impressionistic.
Tests can provide parents with information about their children's levels. For example, how they are progressing, the areas of weaknesses and distinction and the kind of help they need.
Types of tests
Test may be divided into many types:
A) In terms of technique:
take the form of writing sentences, paragraphs or essays. The correctness of answers to these tests
is, in many cases, subjective to the marker opinion. In subjective tests, it usually happens that different scores to the same question.
The grading of this Test
is independent of the person marking the tests
because their tests
have definite answers, which have no room for subjectivity in grading.
Types of objective Tests
1. Multiple choice tests
2. True or False Test
3. Matching Tests
B) In terms of What
they are intended to measure:
These are designed to measure students' achievement. They measure the students' mastery of What
should have been taught.
are designed to diagnose the problems or weaknesses our students may encounter in order o teach effectively.
can be used to measure how suitable candidate will be for performing a certain task or following a specific course.
predict probable success or failure in certain areas of language study.
C) In term of function
1-Norm- Referenced Test
place the student in a rank order. i.e. it tells the examiner how a student has performed compared with his classmates.
2-Criterion- Referenced Tests
tell the examiner weather the student has achieved the desired objectives or not, regardless of other students standards. Such tests
be used during the school year.
Characteristics of a Good Test
A good Test
is characterized by the following qualities:
a valid Test
is ought to be tested. For example, a Test
that is designed to measure control of grammar becomes invalid if it contains difficult vocabulary.
A reliable Test
should provide consistency in measuring the items being evaluated. In other words, if the same Test
is given twice to the same students, it should produce almost the same results.
A practical Test
ought to be easy to administer and scored with out wasting too much time or effort. Put differently, a Test
is considered impractical if it is too expensive or needs many hour for the student to complete and many hours for the teacher to prepare and correct.
a comprehensive Test
should cover all the items that have been taught. This Test
helps the teacher to observe accurately the extent of students' knowledge.
is relevant when it measures reasonably the desired objectives.
A discriminative Test
should distinguish between different levels of students. For example, if al students score between 80% and 90 % on a certain test, this means that the Test
failed to show the individual differences among the students probably because the questions were very easy. Similarly if all students score between 20% and 30 %, this will be an indication that the questions were very difficult.
It is necessary that the questions should be clear so that the students can comprehend exactly What
the teacher wants them to do.
A well- balanced Test
should examine both linguistic and communicative competence. In other words, the items of the Test
must evaluate the students' exact mastery of language regarding accuracy and appropriateness.
The language of the Test
should emphasize the every day interaction.
The question must neither be too hard nor too easy. The questions should progress from easy to difficult so as to reduce stress an tension especially on the part of the weak students.
team needs to decide:
• what type of environment will be used for testing;
• where will the Test
• whether a video recorder and/or tape recorder will be used and how many;
• what angles to use for the video recorder(s);
• arrangement of people and equipment in the room(s);
• who will be in the Test
• what are the roles of each team member;
• paper work (consent forms, procedures, debriefing questionnaire, personal questionnaire, etc.), and;
• Equipment for scenarios (help desk, prototype, procedures, desk, wall/divider, chairs, tapes, pens, etc.)
plan will help plan these items. No matter how sketchy or elaborate, it can also help reduce the chance of overlooking items.