The Cycle of Creating a Good Language Test
- The decision of providing and making the test:
It is usually made by the head teacher, administration, or the supervisor to select a teacher to construct the test. Or the teacher himself decides to make and provide the test as a formative kind of assessment of students’ learning.
- Considering the specifications:
It is related to have and get a look at the specifications of the test that should be followed to produce the test in its final version.
- Collecting information for the test:
In this stage the test provider collects information about the students (the test takers), their levels, abilities, points of weakness and points of strength as well and about the content on which the test is based, its objectives and outcomes, the items that have been taught and the teacher focused on and the items that have not been taught or have less focus in teaching.
- Assembling the materials for the test:
Here the test provider should write sample questions for the test following the specifications. As many questions as possible should be written down on a separate paper in this stage.
- Making the test:
According to the information collected in stage 3, the test provider should select from the questions written in stage 4 those questions which are suitable and use them to construct the test according to stage 2. Marks should be provided besides each question in the test as well.
- Marking and grading the test:
After conducting the test, it should be marked and graded. Marking means providing accurate marks for each students while grading means putting the marks into a meaningful category so that the test results can be understood.
- Reporting and communicating the test results:
In the final stage, test takers and others who concern should be provided with the test results and any other information needed for an appropriate interpretation.