ERIC Number: ED328908
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Assessment: All Tests Are Not Created Equally.
Powell, Janet L.; Gillespie, Cindy
Traditional tests fall into two categories, both of which have several advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered when determining the type of test to use. Constructed-response tests, such as essay tests, ask students to construct their own responses. Thus, students are required not only to recall but to organize and often apply knowledge. On the other hand, selected-response tests, such as multiple choice tests, ask students to select an answer between or among alternatives. While questions for constructed-response tests are relatively easy to prepare, they are much more difficult to grade and often contain relatively few questions. One of the advantages to constructed-response tests is that responses are less affected by guessing, and clues about students' thought processes can be provided. Selected-response tests require much more time to create, but scoring is much easier. One major advantage of these tests is for measuring knowledge of specific facts. Essay and written retellings are the most common of the constructed-response item types. Other types of constructed-response test are the cloze, completion, and short answer items. Special caution should be taken when using cloze tests to measure reading ability, since the reading act itself seems to be disrupted by cloze testing. Selected-response items include true/false or alternate response, matching, and multiple choice. While there are several basic problems and limitations surrounding all types of assessments, many problems can be attributed not just to the test itself, but to misuse of the test. (Twenty references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Test Appropriateness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Reading Forum (11th, Sarasota, FL, December 12-15, 1990).