Test development is the act of making or designing a system or measure through which credential and competence can be assessed. The assessment results or performance is displayed in scores/marks and the test developed should fulfill the demands of set academic standards i.e. national standards. The developed test should meet the standards for accreditation and certification, meet the principles of fairness and produce candidates fit for employment selection. These standards are met to ensure that the test is valid and dependable and be able to cover gaps in information that can result to incapability in work and should also be consistent in evaluation. (2nd edition. Haladyna, 1999).The test making procedure involves:-
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- Carrying out a job task study to ensure that it will be job informative and validating to the focus area and be able to give information required to meet the standards for the given job. The test being developed should have the relevant materials like books and practice products and sites like laboratories. It should have developed valid test objectives and measurable knowledge. (2nd edition. Haladyna, 1999)
- Developing the test design that defines the characteristics of the test, ensure consistency of content for example same exam one student gets ‘A’ and another ‘B’. It should expand on the purpose of the test, describe the target group, and specify the number of items covered by the test. (Ed. Impara, 1995) It should in details give the objective and number of items per unit, give the content outline and give the test format and item types.
- Develop the items contents that should be significant, able to measure levels of knowledge and match the objectives set.
- Review and validation of items to ensure they meet standards then they are sent to professionals for final validation.
- Assembling and delivery into the test pool waiting to administer the exam to the desired number and group of students. This number enables for certification and ensures stability of the test.
- Analyzing the test results meant to measure the level of difficulty and extent to which it reflects the different levels of knowledge.
- Construction of equivalent exam forms to maximize the reliability in testing. To ensure that other equivalent test would give the same results.
- Establish the pass or fail standards according to the testing guidelines.
- Administer the test through paper and pen or computer methods.
- Provide test maintenance of item level and form statistics analysis from time to time.
Taking an example of the Association of chartered certified Accountants (ACCA) testing Body the first step was: – First Taking the accounting field and meeting of the demands of the field like providing the ACCA syllabus and developing the test objectives. Secondly the ACCA test design that is of accounting nature, standards of pass 50% or fails below. Thirdly the ACCA test content significance in Accounting measures the accounting capability and set objectives. (Ed. Impara, 1995) Fourth the items and syllabus are reviewed and validated by the international accounting professional bodies. Fifth the ACCA test is put in the test pool that started in the U.K for certification. The sixth step is analyzing the test results meant to measure the level of difficulty and extent to which it reflects the different levels of knowledge as its evident some fail and others pass the ACCA test. In the seventh step the ACCA test is equated with other accounting bodies with a view to maximize the reliability of its tests. The pass or fail standards are set as 50%. The administration of the test is done both using the paper and pen and computer methods. Then the last step of test maintenance is done from time to time. (2nd edition. Osterlind, 1997)
(2)In creating an Accounting test in the area of auditing option. Start by meeting the requirements of the field, make a syllabus or use an existing one and develop test objects. Secondly make the test design and standards of pass say 45%. Thirdly give the test content significance in auditing capability and set objectives. The fourth step is having the test items reviewed and validated if relevant by the accounting body the test will work under. Fifth the auditing test and enrolment f the required should start for certification to be processed. In the sixth step the test results are analyzed to determine the difficulty and reflection of highest and lowest grades. (Ed. Impara, 1995) The seventh stage the test is equated with other auditing tests in order to maximize the reliability of the test. In the eighth stage you set the pass and fail standards say by 45%. In the ninth stage you choose the method to administer the exam either using paper and pen, electronic or both modes. S. J. (2nd edition. Osterlind, 1997) in the last and the tenth stage you carry out maintenance on the test from the statistical data received.
List of Reference
Haladyna, T. M. (2nd edition). (1999). Developing and Validating Multiple-Choice Test Items, Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Impara, J. C. (Ed.) (1995). Licensure Testing: Purposes, Procedures and Practices. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurement.
Osterlind, S. J. (2nd edition). (1997). Constructing Test Items Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.