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Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions adapt to the changes to impart better quality education to all learners. In addition to this, the pattern of evaluation is also transforming. Many organizations are now using a standardized test to maintain parity among patterns to track their progress.
Like any other test, a standardized test is an evaluation process based on a set of questions that are the same for all students. It judges the learners based on the same standard. Here the conditions that apply to the examination are precisely the same for all who undergo the process.
The tests determine the readiness of the students for a course. Often they get used for the admission test or merit test. It merely judges the effectiveness of the entire teaching-learning process.
Generally, these tests are consists of objective type questions, the answers of which are direct and specific. Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and True/ False are the two most common types of a standardized test.
The standard of the test and the rules are the same for all students and are predetermined. There are various forms of this test, the three most common forms are the written tests, practical skill tests, and oral tests. One can conduct a standardized test both in the pen and paper format and as a computerized test.
For the latter, objective type questions are best suited. It requires less time to evaluate papers and generate marks compared to checking an essay type question. Moreover, checking objective-type questions reduces the chances of errors in correction and reduces the scope of being bias.
Essay types and open-ended questions are also often included in such tests. However, the marking criterion becomes ambiguous in these cases. A proper guideline is set, and a marking scheme is prepared.
However, each essay and Higher Order Thinking (HOT) question’s answer is different from the other based on the learners’ understanding. Thus questions of this sort are difficult to evaluate based on the same standard of marking scheme.
A computerized standardized test is time-saving. One generally uploads the answers to the server before the test. Thus the result can be faster, and the result is more accurate than a pen and paper test.
The idea behind such tests, which have the same question, same time, same circumstance, and grading system for all, is to be fair to all the examinees.
To delve deeper into this matter, one has to know the varied types of tests, so here they are. One can have a look at them:
Standardized tests arebased on the students’ natural abilities to solve exercises and answer questions they have no previous knowledge of—this helps pinpoint the students’ capabilities and problem-solving skills. Thus the students have no scope of preparing for the aptitude test.
Aptitude tests offer learners flexibility as they judge the skills, not only the knowledge they gained from the text. In the field of higher education, such tests are more relevant.
Standardized achievement tests often judge the effectiveness of the teaching-learning process. In these tests, questions are generally set from the things students have already learned in the past. They have to depend on their knowledge more than skill to perform well in such tests.
Ideally, institutions conduct an achievement test at the end of an academic year to trace the learners’ progress. The test helps them to identify their strengths and weaknesses and also offer them appropriate solutions.
Discussion on the advantages of the testing is there first, followed by the cons. So, the pros of this test are the following:
There are certain aspects of standardized testing that compels many organizations to reconsider the process of evaluation:
Unlike essay type and open-ended questions that mostly depend on the writers’ creativity and skills, they can answer factual questions by memorizing the answers.
The tests’ results determine whether the students have met the learning process’s desired outcome, i.e., the teaching-learning process’s objective is fulfilled or not.
Overall, standardized testing is ideal for internal evaluation purposes and not for judging students’ overall achievement and values, teachers of the educational institutions.
Parents and facilitators should value and nurture students’ individuality and skills rather than a conclusion about their capabilities based on a standardized test.
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