Testing is for
-- assessing the attainment of teaching objectives;
-- getting feedback about where the students are;
-- helping the students review what has been learned;
-- identifying areas of difficulty and problem;
-- giving the students a sense of progress and achievement;
-- motivating the students;
Testing is not for
-- punishing students;
-- replacing instruction;
-- encouraging competition among students;
-- increasing pressure for learning;
Types of Tests
Achievement test -- a test which measures how much
of a language someone has learned with reference to a particular
course of study or program of instruction.
Proficiency test -- a test which measures someone's general
level of language mastery.
Standardized test -- a test (a) which has been developed
from tryouts and experimentation to ensure that it is reliable
and valid, (b) for which norms have been established, and (c)
which provides uniform procedures for administering and for scoring
Diagnostic test -- a test which is designed to show what
skills or knowledge a learner knows and doesn't know.
Prognostic test -- a test which is designed to predict
how well one is likely to do in a language course.
Placement test -- a test which is designed to place students
at an appropriate level in a program or course.
Discrete-point test -- a language test which measures
knowledge of individual language items, such as a grammar test
which has different sections on tenses, adverbs, and prepositions.
Integrative test -- is a test which requires a learner
to use several language skills at the same time, such as a dictation
test, because it requires the learner to use knowledge of grammar,
vocabulary, and listening comprehension.
Criterion referenced test -- a test which measures a student's
performance according to a particular standard or criterion which
has been agreed upon.
Norm referenced test -- a test which is designed to measure
how the performance of a particular student or group of students
compares with the performance of another student or group of
students whose scores are given as the norm.
What is a good test?
Validity -- the degree to which a test measures what
it is supposed to measure.
Reliability -- the degree to which a test gives consistent
results. (test and scorer reliability)
Discrimination -- the degree to which a test can distinguish
testees of different proficiency or achievement levels.
Practicality (feasibility) -- the degree to which a test
can be designed and administered within the means of available
resources, such as financial limitations and time constraints.
Types of Test Items
Alternate response item -- one in which a correct response
must be chosen from two alternatives, e.g., True/False.
Fixed response item -- one in which the correct answer
must be chosen from among several alternatives, e.g., multiple-choice.
Free response item -- one in which the student is free
to answer a question as he or she wishes without having to choose
from among alternative provided, e.g., composition.
Structured response item -- one in which some control
or guidance is given for the answer, but the students must contribute
something of their own. e.g., I (go) ____ to the market for some