What are Tests For?

test, Image Credit: Timlewisnm @ FlickrFor many people, test results only seem to be the basis for educators in evaluating whether students pass or fail the subject.

Because this is often the assumption, many students have considered grades as their main motivation for learning at school. While it isn’t the worst idea, it somehow overlooks the benefits tests can give.

How Do Students Benefit From Testing?

Tests are mainly constructed and administered for the purpose of acknowledging and improving the students’ performance. They exist to serve as an instrument in helping students reach their maximum potential.

Is her reading comprehension skill better than others in the class? Then she can be assigned to tasks that involve thorough analysis of written words. Does he always flunk his trigonometry quizzes? Then he probably needs tutorial sessions at least once a week. Does she exhibit extraordinary competence in actual PE tests? Then she should be encouraged to join a sports club to develop her interests.

How Tests Help Teachers

Test construction is not as easy as it may seem. Teachers may sit or observe during testing, but the preparation and the evaluation take much effort.

For instance, an essay test might be just be a two-question quiz but going through the answers without any biases needs formulation of rubric standards. On the other hand, a good multiple choice test might be too easy to check but thinking of the appropriate questions, homogeneous choices and effective distracters can be mind-boggling and exhausting, too.

But just like what tests do to students, test construction improves the skills of teachers. It isn’t just a simple question-and-answer portion. Teachers also have to ensure the tests are valid and reliable. They have decide on the structure and length.

Another benefit they get is knowing how effective their classroom instructions are. If many pass the tests, it can be assumed that students understood the lesson well.

How Tests Define School Standards

Tests are significant to schools because the results tell how far their students have achieved in terms of their standards. Determining this information is necessary in curriculum development or review, in resources allocation and in faculty training.

Results of large scale assessments also evaluate the kind of training schools provide to their students. As you notice, institutions always take pride in their students who top district, regional or national examinations and matches.

Given this information, testing should not cause fear or worry among students. It is an essential part of the learning process as everyone benefits from it.

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