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9/15/2017 4 Main Characteristics of a Good Test

Accounting Notes

4 Main
Characteristics of
a Good Test
Ar cle Shared by Reshma S

The following points highlight


the four main characteristics
of a good test. The
characteristics are: 1. Validity
2. Reliability 3. Objectivity 4.
Norms.

Characteristic # 1. Validity:
The first important characteristic
of a good test is validity. The test
must really measure what it has
been designed to measure. Validity
is often assessed by exploring how
the test scores correspond to some
criteria, that is same behaviour,
personal accomplishment or
characteristic that reflects the
attribute that the test designed to
gauge.

Assessing the validity of any test


requires careful selection of
appropriate criterion measure and
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that reasonable people may


disagree as to which criterion
measure is best. This is equally
true of intelligence test.
Reasonable people may disagree as
to weather the best criterion
measure of intelligence in school
grades, teacher ratings or some
other measures.

If we are to check on the validity of


a test, we must settle on one or
more criterion measures of the
attribute that the test is designed to
test. Once the criterion measures
have been identified people scores
on the measures can be compared
to their scores on the test and the
degree of correspondence can be
examined for what it tells us about
the validity of the test.

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Only valid test can give useful


information about people but the
correction coefficients for validity
are never as high as those for
reliability. Though we try for
reliabilities of 90 or 60, validities
which have corrections between
test scores and criterion measures
are not higher than that of several
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tests with low but significant


validity can sometimes be useful, if
they are given together as a battery
and their results are considered
together. One reason that validity
coefficients are lower than
reliability coefficient is that the
reliability of test sets limits on how
valid the test can be.

Characteristic # 2. Reliability:
A good test should be highly
reliable. This means that the test
should give similar results even
though different testers
administrate it, different people
scores in different forms of the test
are given and the same person
takes that test at two or more
different times. Reliability is
usually checked by comparing
different sets of scores.

In actual practise, psychological


tests are never perfectly reliable.
One reason is that changes do
occur in individuals over time; for
example, a person who scores low
in her group at an initial testing
may develop new skills that rise
her to a higher position in the

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group at the time of the second


testing.

Despite such real changes, the best


intelligence test usually yields
reliability correlation coefficient of
90 or higher (where 1.00),
indicates perfect correspondence
and 0.00 indicates number
correspondence whatever.

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If tests with low reliability are


used, their scores should be
interpreted with caution. To
improve reliability we should
ensure that the test is administered
and scored by a truly standard
procedure. Making the test
procedure uniform might make the
test more reliable.

Characteristic # 3. Objectivity:
By objectivity of a measuring
instrument is meant for the degree
to which equally competent users
get the same results. This
presupposes subjective factor. A
test is objective when it makes for
the elimination of the scorers
personal opinion bias judgment.
The recognition of the quality
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objectivity in a test has been largely


responsible for the development of
an arised and objective type tests.

Objective-based tests measure or


evaluate the entire human
development in three domains that
is cognitive, affective and
psychomotor. As the name itself
indicates they are based on
particular objective of teaching and
evaluating. They provide proper
direction, and thus streamline the
whole process of evaluation. These
tests are all comprehensives.

Characteristic # 4. Norms:
In addition to reliability and
validity good test needs norms.
Norms are sets of score obtained
by whom the test is intended. The
scores obtained by these groups
provide a basic for interpreting any
individual score.

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To understand why norms are


important, let us imagine a test
that does not have any, suppose a
person takes a newly developed
intellectual aptitude test and
requires a score of 437 I.D this is a
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Good Score, should the person be


happy or unhappy. Obviously a
score without any basis for
comparison is not very useful.

In fact one of the first things a


person in the factious situation
might do is seek out others who
have taken the test to find out how
his or her score compares to theirs.
Psychologists do something similar
to this when they develop norms.
They seek out comparison groups
whose performance on the test can
serve as standard of comparison
for each individual who takes the
test later.

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Test Characteristics of a Good
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