ERIC Number: ED327586
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Essay versus Objective Achievement Testing in the Context of Large-Scale Assessment Programs.
Murchan, Damian P.
The reliability, content validity, and construct validity were compared for two test formats in a public examination used to assess a secondary school geography course. The 11-item geography portion of the Intermediate Certificate Examination (essay examination) was administered in June 1987 to 400 secondary school students in Ireland who also took an objective 43-item multiple-choice geography test about 7 months later (in November 1987). The scores on the essay test were less reliable and were susceptible to a significantly larger standard error of measurement than were those on the objective test. Test format was also found to have an effect on classroom practices. The two tests measured different skills, and there was insufficient evidence to prove that writing ability or quality of handwriting influenced scores assigned to essays. It is suggested that a mixed test format is a desirable way to measure achievement in content areas. Five tables present study data. (Author/SLD)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Comparative Testing, Construct Validity, Content Validity, Curriculum Evaluation, Error of Measurement, Essay Tests, Foreign Countries, Geography, Graduation Requirements, Multiple Choice Tests, Objective Tests, Secondary Education, Secondary School Students, Test Format, Test Reliability, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Intermediate Certificate Examination; Ireland; Large Scale Programs
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (San Francisco, CA, March 28-30, 1989).