You are on page 1of 4

Assessment of Learning

This blog is created for the students enrolled in Assessment of Learning (EDUC5N-LET) at Far
Eastern University, Institute of Education. This will be the venue for discussions as part of the
Blended E-Learning Mode of the course.

Friday, August 10, 2012

TABLE OF SPECIFICATION- Sicat, Rachelle

TABLE OF SPECIFICATION

Essentially, a table of specification is a table chart that breaks down the topics that will be on a test
and the amount of test questions or percentage of weight each section will have on the final test
grade. This kind of table chart is usually split into two charts, and each sub topic is numbered under
the main topics that are being covered for the test. This type of table is mainly used by
teachers to help break down their testing outline on a specific subject. Some teachers use this
particular table as their teaching guideline by breaking the table into subjects, the teachers main
points, how much time should be spent on the point, and what assignment or project can be done to
help the student learn the subject.

Sample Table of Specifications for Multiple


Choice Exams
Sample Table of Specifications for Multiple Choice Exams in Medical School

To prepare a multiple choice exam or test you have to know the percentages of the topics
depending on their importance to the subject and the hours spent in their discussion.

Let’s say you are preparing an exam for the prelim period, for your subject in Human Physiology in
medical school; here are steps you can adapt.

1. Assign the percentage per topic based on the course requirement:

Intro to human physiology – 10%


The human body- 15%
The muscular system -25%
The skeletal system -25%
The cardiovascular system -25%
TOTAL = 100%
N.B. You can adjust the percentages according to your syllabus or academic requirements.

2. Decide on how many items the test should be. Let’s say you have decided that the items for your
Prelim exam are 150. The time allotted should at least be 2 hours for this exam, if 1 minute per
question and 3 minutes per problem is assigned.

3. Present your data in a table of specifications for clarity.

TOPIC NO. OF PERCENTAGE


ITEMS
Intro to 10
Physiology
The Human 15
Body
The Muscular 25
System
The Skeletal 25
System
The 25
Cardiovascular
system
TOTAL 100%

4. Solve for the number of items of each topic by multiplying the percentage-decimal
equivalent with the total number of items.

Intro to Physiology = 0.10 (10%) X 150 = 15 items


The Human Body = 0.15 (15%) X 150 = 22.50 items
The Muscular System = 0.25 (25%) X 150 = 37.50 items
The Skeletal System = 0.25 (25%) X 150 =37.50 items
The Cardiovascular System = 0.25 (25%) X 150 = 37.50 items

For a total of 150 items. Since there are no 0.5 questions, you may decide to which topic you would
assign the 1 item excess.

Let’s say you have the final items assigned:

Intro to Physiology = 0.10 X 150 = 15 items


The Human Body = 0.15 X 150 = 23 items
The Muscular System = 0.25 X 150 = 37 items
The Skeletal System = 0.25 X 150 =37 items
The Cardiovascular System = 0.25 X 150 = 38 items

You come up with this table

TOPIC NO. OF PERCENTAGE


ITEMS
Intro to 15 10
Physiology
The Human 23 15
Body
The Muscular 37 25
System
The Skeletal 37 25
System
The 38 25
Cardiovascular
system
TOTAL 150 100%

5. This is the simplest form of preparing for a table of specifications. You may want to be more specific
and prepare a more detailed table assigning easy, average and difficult questions. The average
questions should at least be 80% of your exams, while the easy at least 20% and the difficult, at
least 15 %. This is recommended but the final decision still relies on the subject per se, and the
learning ability of your students.

TOPIC Easy qsns. Average Difficult NO. OF PERCENTAGE


qsns. qsns. ITEMS
Intro to 3 10 2 15 10
Physiology
The Human 4 16 3 23 15
Body
The Muscular 5 28 4 37 25
System
The Skeletal 5 28 4 37 25
System
The 5 28 4 38 25
Cardiovascular
system
TOTAL 22 111 17 150 100%

6. You should be able to determine which questions are easy, average and difficult based on an item
analysis that you have done in previous exams. This is an analysis of what questions were
answered easily and correctly and which ones were difficult for the students. There are available
software for item analysis that maybe available from your school or you could prepare one yourself
through the semesters that you teach the subject.

Another Sample Table of Specifications

Clinical Chemistry 1 subject – Prelim Exams


Topic Identification Multiple Problem Number of Percentage
Choice Solving Items
Intro to 2 10 0 12 10
Clinical
Chemistry
Laboratory 2 14 20 36 30
Mathematics
Carbohydrates 3 33 0 36 30
Lipids 3 33 0 36 30
Total No. of 10 90 20 120 100%
Items

DECIDE THE NUMBER OF ITEMS FOR YOUR EXAM, BASED ON THE HOURS AVAILABLE.

1. You assign the percentage according to the importance of the topic to your subject, or you can also
refer to the required weight of the topic by your school or accrediting institution.
2.
Decide on the total number of items for the exam depending on the number of hours assigned.
3.
At least 1 minute is given for easy questions and 3-5 minutes for difficult questions. In case
analyses, you may want to increase the time.
4.
Based on your total items, you now get the number of items for each topic simply by multiplying the
total score with the percentage. Below is the computation for this Table of Specifications.

How to solve the number of items for your Table of Specifications.

Introduction to clinical chemistry = 120 X 0.10 (10%) = 12 items


Laboratory Mathematics = 120 X 0.30 = 36 items
Carbohydrates = 120 X 0.30 = 36 items
Lipids = 120 X 0.30 =36 items

Total number of items = 120

Assign now the specific type of test for the items. As the instructor, you would know what type of test
could effectively test the knowledge of your students with the different topics. Your Table of
Specifications should reflect which topics are vital to your course.
1.
In this example, the Introduction to Clinical Chemistry would not use problem solving but only
multiple choice and identification. You can compose 10 items for multiple choice and 2 items for
identification.