The value of a well-constructed test
The goal of testing is to accurately measure knowledge or ability, and to use this information to make informed judgements about the test-taker's readiness to move on to a job or other level of training. Testing decisions based on erroneous judgments about individual readiness can be costly: by placing test-takers in jobs for which they are not ready, and in denying advancement to test-takers who are ready to move on effectively.
A good test distinguishes between test-takers who possess a defined body of knowledge and skill from those who do not. This sounds simple, but is considerably more difficult to achieve. The test must reflect the specific job or profession, with the right emphasis on the tasks and knowledge required. Test questions need to measure job knowledge, and not other characteristics unrelated to the job. Scoring must be defensible and help candidates determine next steps for further study or advancement.
Starting from Scratch: Creating a New Test
Working in tandem with Professional Examination Service (PES), TesTrac can survey your profession or training courses to determine what kinds of questions should be on your test. Your test should reflect the most critical and frequently used elements of practice or training. TesTrac can help you create a detailed test blueprint that will guide you in writing questions for your test.
When you are ready to write questions, TesTrac can help you train and guide content experts to write questions that will provide a true indication of test-takers' knowledge. Many of today's test-takers are very savvy about how to answer test questions; it is important to construct questions that will test actual knowledge and not just test-taking skills. Sometimes, it is important to assess whether test-takers have more than just book-knowledge. TesTrac can help you to write questions that assess real ability to apply knowledge in a work setting.
A Pick and Choose Package of Options for Improving Your Current Test
If you have a test currently in use, TesTrac and PES can review this with you and make recommendations for improving the quality of the test. These recommendations can be presented as a pick and choose package, helping you make major changes or just minor adjustments. These recommendations might include:
Setting a fair and defensible passing point for your test
Some tests are scored using the traditional 75% as a passing point. Is the passing point on your test set to identify test-takers who have the knowledge and skill necessary to perform in the position for which you are testing? Testrac and PES can help you set a passing point that will provide a defensible distinction between those test-takers who have the necessary knowledge and those who do not.
Making the most of your score reporting
A score report should provide more than just a tally of correct and incorrect answers. TesTrac and PES can design a score report for you that identifies a test-taker's strengths and weaknesses. This is also an opportunity to provide test-takers with information for training or study resources offered either by your organization or by others.
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