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Six Qualities Of A Good Language Test And Actions To Achieve Them

There are six fundamental qualities that contribute to the effectiveness of a test. Test developers must take these qualities into consideration so that the test can reflect its purposes successfully. In general, these six qualities are all integral, have a certain correlation and can not be solely isolated.

They are as follows:

1. Practical

A test is said to be effective if it is practical. Time and money are considered as fundamental elements to make the test practical. A test conducted with an affordable amount of money is practical.

2. Reliable

A test will be reliable if it is dependable and consistent. This means that every student is given the same result under the same circumstances.

3. Valid

A test will be valid when its result is appropriate, useful and meaningful in terms of the assessment’s purpose. “Face Validity” refers to the degree to which a test looks right, and appears to measure the knowledge or ability it claims to measure.

4. Authentic

A test will be authentic if the language in it is as natural as possible so that test-takers can understand and deal with it effectively. For example, the test can not contain academic vocabulary about technology if students did not learn about this topic. If so, this test lack authenticity. Additionally, an authentic test should include the language items that are used in the content of the test as well as the content that students have learned.

5. Interactive

The interactiveness of a test is the degree of involvement of test-takers in acquiring the test tasks including language knowledge and skills.

6. Washback

Washback is the effect of testing on teaching and learning. A form of washback happens more regularly in classroom assessment when students learn from their strengths and weaknesses after the test.

The List of Actions to Achieve Each of the Previous Six Qualities:


  • The administrators should consider carefully the budget for the test.
  • The teacher should allow the time appropriately with the difficulty of the test task.
  • The test composer should reduce the long task or separate it into smaller tasks.
  • Unnecessary expenses should be cut off.


  • The teacher should give out test specifications so that students can have the appropriate amount of time to prepare for the test.
  • The administrator should check all the facilities before the test starts.
  • The administrator should have backup plan for any negative conditions.
  • Test papers should be sealed to make sure of the reliability of the test.
  • The rubric should be clear and consistent.


  • The test specifications must be clear about the target language, main subject, and content related to the test.
  • The objectives of the test should be clear.
  • The instructions delivered to students must be clear.
  • The design of the test must be clear and familiar to the students.


  • The test items must be meaningful.
  • The test should reflect real-life tasks.


  • The test starts with some tasks that can create comfort for students.
  • The topic chosen should raise the students’ curiosity and interest in the test tasks.


  • Teachers should give constructive feedback so that students can improve their performance in the future.
  • Teachers should collect feedback from students for self-improvement.

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2 thoughts on “Six Qualities Of A Good Language Test And Actions To Achieve Them

  1. Mr zerzour says:

    Thabk you very much so fruitfull

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