What Are The Real Purpose of Test In Education And Assessment

The purpose of test in education is not to assign marks or grades to students. Tests actually teach; they are excellent instructional devices. Test results are an indication of the knowledge students have about a particular subject at a given time.Why do we test students,you can find this answer in this article.

Use tests to correct weaknesses.
Tests are used to find and correct weaknesses in learning on the part of the students, and weaknesses
in teaching on the part of the instructor. Tests can show how much of a given subject is known, and
point out what needs to be given more attention in the teaching processes. Students should be told if they are failing before they actually fail, so that they can study harder and make the grade.

Use tests to provide incentive.
Tests provide students with the urge to study. They know that they will be asked questions, but
they do not know what the questions will be. Therefore they study all of the material so that they will be prepared for any eventuality. In studying for an examination they review past work in classes and organize the material. Thus they learn more because they know they will be tested.

What Are The Importance And Purpose of Test In Education And Teaching.

 Provide means for comparing by testing.

Through the use of tests, instructors can compare the quality and quantity of the subject matter
learned by any individual or class. Through these comparisons they can establish standards. A standard
is that which is set up and established as a rule for the measurement of quantity, weight, extent, value,
or quality. The measurement of an individual’s work is thus expressed in terms of comparison.

When we know the planned end result of a course of study, we know the objectives of that course. We
find what the journeyman of that field is expected to do, and what he is expected to know. Then, by
comparison with this journeyman standard, we can judge the work and learning of the student who
aspires to become as efficient as the journeyman. This learning is then expressed in terms of what the journeyman needs to know, what he has to do, and the time it takes him to do it.
Use pretests to determine what is known before course is taken.

A pretest can be given to individuals and groups to determine what they know and what they can do
in a subject before any teaching is done. Through the use of pretests and individualized instruction, a
student can be taken from where he is found to the point where the objectives of the course indicates
he should be. This is the most efficient and most economical way of teaching. No time needs to be
spent in teaching things that the student already knows. It saves time and effort of both the learner
and the teacher.

The pretest determines what he already knows; he is then taught what he needs; a mastery test then shows whether or not he has learned what he needs.

Essay tests.
Essay tests are not recommended because they are not objective. Many experiments and studies
show that the essay or subjective type of test cannot be uniformly evaluated. Subjective test marking is
subject to one’s thinking at that particular moment. Little can be said for the subjective test, except for testing written expression. Students generally get less of a square deal through this type of an exam­ination, and the estimate of the effectiveness of learning and teaching is inaccurate when compared with the objective type.

For example, the extent of the correct answer to the following essay question would vary greatly with instructors:
What are the purposes and advantages of sodium-filled valves in aircraft engines?
WRITTEN OBJECTIVE TESTS
Objective written tests have certain advantages:
a. A great number of questions can be asked so that the trade or field taught can be quickly
and adequately tested.
b. Students’ reading and writing ability is min­imized, so that ratings are on subject matter
learned rather than on language skill.
c. Scoring can be done by almost anyone.
d. Scoring can be done quickly.
e. The answer to any question is either right or wrong —there is no guessing as to the value
of any question.
f. The student is not penalized because of his attitude toward the instructor or the school.

Primary considerations in making objective tests.

One has at least eight choices of types of objective test questions. Applicable to all types explained in this section are general characteristics which should be followed:
a. Questions should be taken from subject matter
taught.
b. Questions should be stated clearly and as briefly
as possible.
c. Leading words should not be used, as “Control
cables are always made of stainless steel wire.”
d. Avoid double negatives, such as “It is not im­possible to run an engine on one magneto.”
e. Avoid patterns in answers, as when the first answer is always right in multiple choice ques­tions, or when making alternate statements false in true-false tests.
f. Do not use ambiguous questions, which in some cases are true and in other cases false, as
“Pressure-type baffles cool the engine.” The statement is false when an airplane is on the ground and true when it is in the air.

Test on all things taught.

If tests are teaching devices, then sufficient time should be allowed for testing all items taught. If we
have the time to teach an item, then we must take the time to prove that each item has been taught,
to determine the effectiveness of teaching. If an item is not tested, there is no way of proving that it has
been learned. The above statements should not be construed to mean that testing should or can be
made on all that a student might have gathered from the course. Testing should be done on all things
actually taught, according to the objectives of a course. If there are 15 important parts of a machine,
for example, and five are taught, then a check should be made to see if the five parts were learned, not the
15 parts, or three parts.

Weight questions as to value.
Either weight questions which are more important than others, or break the important point into several
more questions phrased in other language. It is quite unlikely, in any test, that all questions should
have the same value on the total score. The total points given for each question should be known by
the student taking the test.

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