A Quiz on “Types of Assessment”

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How much knowledge do you have about assessment? Do you know how many types of assessment there are? Can you differentiate between formative & summative assessment? Do you know the importance of diagnostic assessment? What is integrative assessment?

To assess to what extent your knowledge about assessment is good, you can do that quiz on https://edmo.do/j/ud25fi on “Types of Assessment” which is a topic of six-topic course on “Assessment Literacy”.

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8 Kinds of Testing & 6 Types of Tests

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There are eight kinds of testing. They are as follow:

1. Direct testing:
Testing is said to be direct when the student is required to perform directly the skill which we wish to measure. E.g. we ask students to write compositions if we want to know how well they can write compositions. We ask them to speak if we want to know how well they can pronounce a language.

2. Indirect testing:
Indirect testing attempts to measure the abilities which underlie the skills in which we are interested. E.g. we test pronunciation ability by asking students to identify pairs of words which rhyme with each other.

3. Objective testing:
It doesn’t require judgement on the part of the scorer because scoring here is objective. It won’t change even if the scorer has been changed. Multiple choice test is an example of this kind of tests.

4. Subjective testing:
It requires judgement on the part of the scorer because scoring here is subjective. The grades in subjective testing depend on the impressions of the scorer. These impressions are not the same among different scorers. Scoring of a composition is an example of this kind of testing.

5. Discrete point testing:
It refers to the testing of one element at a time, item by item. This kind of testing is always indirect. Each testing involves a particular item. Testing particular grammatical structures is an example of this kind of testing.

6. Integrative testing:
It includes many language elements in the completion of a task. It might involve writing a composition, taking notes while listening to a text and completing a cloze passage.

7. Norm-referenced testing:
This kind of testing relates one student’s performance to that of other students. We don’t say that student is capable of doing well in the language but we say the student gained a score that placed him/her in the top five students who have taken the same test.

8. Criterion-referenced testing:
The purpose of this kind of testing is to classify students according whether they are able to perform some tasks satisfactorily. Who perform the tasks satisfactorily ‘pass’, those who don’t, ‘fail’. We measure students’ progress in relation to meaningful criteria.

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6 Types of Tests

There are six different types of tests. They are as follow:

1. Placement test:
It is used to place new students in the right class in a school. It assesses students’ productive and receptive skills. It is designed to show how good a student is in English in relation to a previously agreed system of levels.

2. Diagnostic test:
It is used to discover student problems, difficulties or deficiencies in a course. We use this type of tests to know students’ strengths and weaknesses so as to be able to do something about them.

3. Progress/Achievement test:
It is designed to measure students’ language and their skill progress in relation to the syllabus they have been following. This type is directly related to language courses and done during the course.

4. Final progress/achievement test:
It is done at the end of the course to measure students’ achievement of the course objectives or goals.

5. Proficiency test:
It is not necessarily based on certain courses that students may have previously taken. Most students take this type of tests to admit to a foreign university, get a job or obtain some kind of certificate. It is designed to measure students’ knowledge and ability in a language.

6. Aptitude test:
It is designed to discover whether a student has a talent or basic ability for learning a new language or not.

12 Characteristics of a Good Test

A good test should be:

1- Valid:

It means that it measures what it is supposed to measure. It tests what it ought to test. A good test which measures control of grammar should have no difficult lexical items.

2- Reliable:

If it is taken again by ( same students, same conditions ), the score will be almost the same regarding that the time between the test and the retest is of reasonable length. If it is given twice to same students under the same circumstances, it will produce almost the same results. In this case it is said that the test provides consistency in measuring the items being evaluated.

3- Practical:

It is easy to be conducted, easy to score without wasting too much time or effort.

4- Comprehensive:

It covers all the items that have been taught or studied. It includes items from different areas of the material assigned for the test so as to check accurately the amount of students’ knowledge

5- Relevant:

It measures reasonably well the achievement of the desired objectives.

6- Balanced:

It tests linguistic as well as communicative competence and it reflects the real command of the language. It tests also appropriateness and accuracy.

7- Appropriate in difficulty:

It is neither too hard nor too easy. Questions should be progressive in difficulty to reduce stress and tension

8- Clear:

Questions and instructions should be clear. Pupils should know what to do exactly.

9- Authentic:

The language of the test should reflect everyday discourse

10- Appropriate for time:

A good test should be appropriate in length for the allotted time.

11- Objective:

If it is marked by different teachers, the score will be the same. Marking process should not be affected by the teacher’s personality. Questions and answers are so clear and definite that the marker would give the students the score he/she deserves.

12- Economical:

It makes the best use of the teacher’s limited time for preparing and grading and it makes the best use of the pupil’s assigned time for answering all items. So, we can say that oral exams in classes of +30 students are not economical as it requires too much time and effort to be conducted.

The Importance of Testing During EL Course

There are many good reasons for testing during English language course. We usually conduct a test for one or more of the following:

1- Collecting information about where students are in their learning to decide what should be covered next.

2- Deciding whether teaching is effective or not ( Assessment of teaching )

3- Highlighting what needs to be reviewed. ( Which parts need to be revised )

4- Giving pupils a sense of achievement ( What they know / What they should know )

5- Giving pupils a learning opportunity after what have been done ( The test is a review in itself )

6- Assessing pupils’ strengths and weaknesses indicating which skills pupils are good at and which ones they need more practice on.

7- Giving feedback to parents, other teachers, the school, the principal …… to all who matter.

8- Discovering what pupils have already learned and what they still need to learn.

9- Deciding what to teach next and which methods should be used.