I would like to share with you my test designing experience.

I would like to share with you my test designing experience.

In Croatian primary schools we have 4 categories to grade our students. It looks like this:

comprehension
speaking
writing
grammar

I think we could have a long discussion about these categories. We can't separate comprehension from any part of language teaching and learning, can we? But it is how it is in our class books, at least for now.

Why did I design the test in the first place? There are tests in teacher's books that I use but they all contain most of the categories and I am allowed to give only one grade. So I decided to design my own grammar test. It looked beautiful. I used all my computer skills and worked very hard. I came to school, proudly handed out the tests to my students. And what happened? What was supposed to last for 45 minutes lasted about 20. You could imagine my surprise when they started to give back my beautiful tests:)))

It is not easy to design a test, isn't it? And I learned my lesson. Here is what I should have done:

tried to do the test myself!

It is as simple as that. If I had done this I would have realized that the test was too short and would have given myself the opportunity to include more tasks which would have shown the students knowledge on a higher more precise level. To have someone else do the test is even better. You'll get another, objective view into the test.

There is one even more important issue than just timing and this is how to create meaningful tasks for the test paying attention to goals, relevance and variety.

What are your grading categories? Do you design your tests?

Comments

I don't design tests. I do understand that it's very difficult to design a good test. You are very brave!

Do you get the tests with the textbooks? Do they fit your grading categories?

Thanks a lot for the post. It is a rather important topic and it made me remember the time when me and my peer were supposed to design a test (as studying at AUA). I think that there are so many things which need careful consideration. One may think it is a rather easy task, but it is a hard work during which the test writers should be patient and careful. Like I remember how many days we spent trying to create the tasks which we wanted to include in the tests, options for each multiple choice item, then writing and organizing the criteria and rubrics for the essay. So I think that each one who has made up his/her mind to write a test should be ready to spend many hours and days trying to include appropriate and interesting exercises.

Soooooooo nice to hear from you :) Designing a test is rather a tricky task. Each task that you mentioned deserves a post for itself. There are so many things that must be taken into consideration. I know very well about spending hours and days preparing a test and then I change it again and again. I think that to have a group of people to design and test the test, would be the best option, if possible. Thank you so much for your comment.

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