Creating a good language test demand great care and responsibility on the part of the teachers. Most teachers don’t plan for writing their tests. As a result they often puzzle the students with these tests and reflect only their own expectations. The most important characteristics of a good test are reliability, validity and practicality.
* A reliable test produces the same result under the same circumstances.
* A valid test tests what it is supposed to test.
* A practical test is as economical as possible in time and in cost.
Additionally, there are four more necessary characteristics of a good language test:
1. Based on what students should know and can do according to the learning outcomes of the syllabus.
2. Enable the teacher to find out which parts of the language program cause difficulty for the class.
3. Without any traps for students but provide opportunities for them to show their ability to perform certain language tasks.
4. Designed to be a valuable teaching & learning tool, that’s to benefit the teachers to adjust their teaching to match students’ achievement level and to benefit students to learn from their mistakes.
Teachers charged to prepare a test should put in their minds that each test is not an end in itself, but a means to reach effective language mastery.