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How to Develop a Quality Question Paper for Class Tests and Terminal Exams ?

Aim of the Presentation

This presentation is designed to help TEACHERS write better testsbetter in that they more closely assess instructional objectives and assess them more accurately.

Some of the problems which keep classroom tests from being accurate measures of students achievement are:
1. Tests include too many questions measuring only knowledge of facts. 2. Too little feedback is provided.

3. The questions are often ambiguous and unclear.

4. The tests are too short to provide an adequate sample of the body of content to be covered. 5. The number of exams is insufficient to provide a good sample to students attainment of the knowledge and skills the course is trying to develop.

What a Quality test is?

If it measures the domain it was defined to measure. If the test items have good measurement properties. If the test scores and the pass/fail decisions are reliable. If alternate forms of the test are on the same scale. If you apply defensible judgment criteria. if you allow enough time for competent (but not necessarily speedy) candidates to take the test. If it is presented to the candidate in a standardized fashion, without environmental distractions. If the test taker is not cheating and the test has not deteriorated.

The Science and Art of Question Paper and Class Tests Development

1. What is to be measured? 2. What is the Size of the Class? 3. What is time Available to Prepare and Score Test?


After planning the content and cognitive objectives for the test, Teacher must decide on the best way to measure them; that is, they decide on the test format. The format refers to whether the test will be objective (multiple choice, true false, matching, etc.) or essay. What factors do faculty consider when deciding on the format of the test?

How should I start a new testing initiative?

Test Design Begins with Test Definition

Test Title Credential Name Test Purpose (This test will certify that the successful candidate has important knowledge and skills necessary to ) Intended Audience Candidate Preparation High-Level Knowledge and Skills Covered Products or Technologies Addressed Knowledge and Skills Assumed but Not Tested Knowledge and Skills Related to the Test but Not Tested Borderline Candidate Description Testing Methods Test Organization Test Stakeholders Other Information

Once I have a blueprint, how do I develop appropriate exam items?

Test Development Process

1. Statement of Goals 2. Content Outline 3. Table of Specifications 4. Item Selection 5. Item Construction 6. Composition of Instructions 7. Development of Answer Sheets 8. Construction of Answer Keys 9. Test Administration 10. Test Revision

Formative vs. Summative Tests

monitor progress toward goals within a course of study

assess overall achievement of course goals

Need to Consider and Decide:

Length of Test Weight to be given to each objective Weight to be given to each level of taxonomy Estimate number of items in each cell

Item Selection
Types of Items
Objectively Scored (Selection)
true/false completion matching multiple choice

Subjectively Scored (Supply)

interpretive exercises essay

Guidelines for Writing Objective Items

1.Construct at appropriate level of difficulty for examinees 2.Include Items at appropriate level of difficulty for purpose of test. 3.Test significant elements of a course. 4.Write independent items.

5.Construct questions free from extraneous reasons for problems.

6.Communicate the question in clear, concise language.

7.In the correct alternatives, paraphrase statements from the text.

8.Exclude clues to correct answer.

Alternate Response Items

Involves the selection of one of two alternatives true / false yes / no right / wrong fact / opinion

True / False
Word statements clearly. Vague or ambiguous wording will confuse students. Avoid over generalizing. Avoid Trick questions. Statements should be entirely true, or entirely false : Avoid using universal descriptors such as never, none, always, and all. Avoid negative words, as they are often overlooked by students.

True / False
Do not include two ideas in one statement unless you are evaluating students understanding of cause and effect relationships. Provide a T and F beside each statement and ask students to circle correct answer.

Include more false than true statements in any given test and vary the number of false statements from test to test.
Avoid using negative statements

Matching Items
Consist of
a column of premises a column of responses directions for matching the two.

Guidelines for Writing Matching Items

Provide clear instructions on how to indicate the correct answers.

Indicate whether the same response can be used more than once.
Maintain grammatical consistency within and between columns. Ensure that any matching question appears entirely on one page. Provide an unequal number of premises and responses Avoid designing questions which require students to draw lines between premise and response.

2. Guidelines for Writing Matching Items

Make sure lists are homogeneous.

Make the wording of the premises longer than the wording of the responses.
Identify the items in one list with numbers and those in the second list with letters.

Short Answer Test Items

Typically, the student is asked to reply with a word, phrase, name, or sentence, rather than a more extended response. Items are fairly easy to construct and mark Assess mainly knowledge, comprehension, and some application.

Guidelines for Writing Short Answer Items

Questions must be carefully worded so that all students understand the specific nature of the question asked and the answer required. Word completion or fill in questions so that missing information is at, or near the end of, the sentence. Makes reading and responding easier. Instructions and teachers expectations about filling in blanks should be made clear. Indicate whether each blank of equal length represents one word or several words, whether long blanks require sentences or phrases, and whether synonymous terms are accepted. When an answer is to be expressed in numerical units, the unit should be stated. Do not use too many blanks in completion items. The emphasis should be on knowledge and comprehension, not mind reading!

Multiple Choice Items

Guidelines for Writing

Terminology: Multiple Choice

1. The capital city of Canada is a. Vancouver b. Montreal 3 4 c. Toronto *d. Ottawa 2

1. Stem: presents the problem 2. Keyed Response: correct or best answer 3. Distracters: appear to be reasonable answers to the examinee who does not know the content 4. Options: include the distracters and the keyed response.

Guidelines for Writing: Multiple Choice Items

State stem in the form of a question. Place most of the subject matter in the Stem Eliminate extraneous material from the Stem Avoid Negatively phrased Stems

I. Guidelines for Writing: MC

Ensure similarity among alternatives with regard to:
grammatical structure
length mode of expression

Grammatical errors provide unintentional clues to the answer

When in doubt, students will select the longest alternative as the correct answer

II. Guidelines for Writing: MC

Make one of the alternatives the most clearly correct or best answer Make distracters plausible Avoid parallel language between the Stem and the Correct Response Randomly distribute answers across the alternative positions Use qualifiers such as all of the above and none of the above sparingly


Writing Good Essay Items 1. Formulate the question so that the task is clearly defined for the student. Clearly stated questions not only make essay tests easier for students to answer, but Also make them easier for instructors to score. 2. In order to obtain a broader sampling of course content, use a relatively large number of questions requiring shorter answers rather than just a few questions involving long answers . 3. Avoid the use of optional questions on an essay test. 4. Indicate for each question the number of points to be earned for a correct response 5.Avoid writing essay items that only require students to demonstrate certain factual Knowledge