There are a few rules to be followed while working on a test. If to disregard the recommended process of the multiple-choice test creation, you risk to miss some of its details and fail to deliver a qualitative work. To assist you, we are offering a clear algorithm of the multiple-choice test writing.
Step 1: Define the Aim and Tasks
Before you do anything, it is a must to understand what you are doing this for. The same works for a multiple-choice test. Its content is to correspond to the aim of the control.
A test is not just a set of questions. It includes the criteria of its evaluation and principles of its interpretation as well.
Testing of students via the questions having variants of answers may be applied for the following purposes:
- The primary control (the basic one);
- The process control (control of students’ getting the course information in the course process);
- The final control (to check the achievements of students at the end of the course);
- The self-control (as a part of students’ homework and self-education).
The test questions need to correspond to the expected results of teaching, control the level of awareness and skills development, help for acquiring new skills and revising the already learned materials, and detect the weak points to work on.
That is why it is necessary to analyze the course materials before you start working on the test. Also, it is required to take the time and conditions of testing into account.
Step 2: Analysis of the Course Information
Now you are required to get a clear number of how many questions and parts you need in your test. To do this, check the course materials. How many academic hours did it take? Does it have units or problematic points that need a special attention? Remember, that every point needs to be addressed in order to carry out a full analysis of the students’ knowledge on the subject.
Step 3: Specification of the Multiple-Choice Test
After you have defined what you need the test for and have thought out the content of the test, it is time to determine its specification. A specification is the division of the test questions based on the material they cover, the level of complexity. It also defines the system of evaluation of certain tasks and the test in a whole.
This type of assignment is to be strictly based on the materials given in lectures and other types of lessons. There cannot be the situation when a student faces the question on the topic he was not learning in the course.
The specification, or an outline of the test with variants of answers suggested for students should include:
- The list of types of questions of the test.
- The quantity of the tasks for each type in each variant.
- Types of skills measured.
- The chosen topical units of the academic course to be covered in the test.
- The quantity of task for each part of the test.
- The complexity of the assignment and the division of the toughness in the parts of the multiple-choice test.
Do you think you are done? No, you do not have the test ready, so your further course of actions will be described in the following article.