Suggestion for constructing a good essay type test

The test constructor or the paper setter as he is

(ii)The expected length of the answer of each question should be indicated on the paper.

(iv) Question should be such as they require the examinees interpret them in the same way as the examiner wants.

(vi) Questions should be every explicit so that the examinee may know the intention of the examiner in asking the question and accordingly he may give the answer.

(vii)The examiner should clearly indicate the weight of each part of the question so that the examinees may determine the time to be devoted to each part of the question.

(viii)The number of question may be large and the expected answers within reasonable limits. The use of essay type question should be restricted to those learning outcomes which cannot be measured by objective type items sosatisfactorily.

(x)It should be a balanced paper in the sense that it includes different types of questions: essay type short answer type.

(xi) The question should not be too general and vague. They should define the task for the candidate and indicate clearly the scope of the answer.

(xii) A large number of short and more specific questions requiring short or limited answer should find a prominent place in the paper and be preferred to a few long and general questions.

(xiii) The time allowed for the examination should be carefully considered in relation to the amount of writing required on that part of the students. The examinations should be so timed that the students are usefully engaged for the whole duration.

(xiv) The questions may be arranged in order of xv difficulty, i.e., from the easier to the more difficult.

(xv) Clear instruction to the student regarding the number of question to be attempted, marks given to each part thereof, and any special purpose, such as diagrams, neatness, etc., may be given in the beginning of the question paper.

(xvi) As far as possible, equal marks may be allotted to each question.

(xvii) Question paper may be reviewed before it is handed over to the person concerned. Quite a few points may strike the paper setter on this second reading. A paper setter should safeguard his reputation as a setter by taking all the care that is possible at the beginning.

Suggestion for scoring Essay Type Questions:

1. The examiner should prepare a scoring key for sub-examiners, which may contain an out line for the ideal answer.

2. Normally no weightage should be given to handwriting, spelling and better language in papers other than language ones.

3. when any weightage is given to any aspect in a language paper, it should be clearly indicted in the paper.

4. The identity of the examinees should be kept secret from the examiner so that ‘halo effect’ does not affect scoring..

5.The examiner should go through a sampling of the answer books of the examinees before he actually starts marking the answer books so that he may have a general ideas of the quality of the answers.

6. It is some time suggested that a particular question of all the examinees should be evaluated at one time.

7. To avoid fatigue, only a reasonable number of answer books should be marked in one setting by an examiner.

8.There should be consistency in assessment.

Measures for tackling the Problem of Memorization

1. Identification of instructional objective of the subjective matter or topic in question.

2. Giving proportionate weight age to each of the instructional objective in the framing of the question paper.

3. Framing question testing different objective equivalent to the weightage given to each.

Measures for Tackling the Element of Subjectivity

Preparing a policy statement of the question paper by the examining agency and passing it onto the paper setter. The policy statement may cover the following aspects:

(a)Weightage to major areas of content.

(b)Weightage to objectives of each area of content.

(c) Weightage to different forms of question i.e. essay, short answer and objective type.

(d) Weightage to different forms of objective type questions.

(e) Elimination of overall options.

(f) Providing options to individual question or within a part of the question paper. Option should be comparable in respect of objective tobe tested, content area covered, form, difficulty level, expected time for answering it, etc.

(g)Wording question specifically so as to delimit the scope and length of the answer.

(h)Preparation of a scoring key and a marking scheme.

Steps to overcome the issue of poor coverage of the contents

(i)Giving proportionate weightage to the major area of content.

(ii) Including increasing number of short-answer and objective type tests for covering large area of content.

(iii) Eliminating overall options in the question paper.

Steps to overcome administrative problems:

1. Appointment of those persons as paper setters who are well versed with the concept and techniques of evaluation.

2.Moderation/ reviewing of the question paper so as to ensure that no question is out of syllabus and also to ensure the balanced nature of the questions.

3.Introduction of mechanized process of results.

4.Introduction of a system of grading in place of giving marks.

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