Planning & Construction of Test


The way I usually construct my test is simply get questions from the book or test bank that comes with it. It’s easy to comply with all the demands of work. Now that I learned the effective way of writing different types of traditional assessment, I can able to construct my own test. I can also identify those that are poorly crafted and improve it, especially if most of my resources are from internet. I believe that teachers must have the knowledge and skills to write an effective test.

Some of the problems in traditional assessment are:

  • The test questions are often unclear or vague
  • Questions measure only factual knowledge
  • Too little feedback is provided

Let me share my notes about different types of Traditional Assessment.

Multiple Choiceimages19


  • It can be used to test all level of learners
  • Questions are adapted to wide range of content and objectives
  • Easy to administer and less time needs to complete
  • Can be easily and accurately be scored and avoid bias


  • It’s difficult and time consuming to construct
  • It’s difficult to come up with distractors

Suggestion for Writing MCT items

  • To use at least four alternatives
  • To use capital letters ( A B C D ) as response signs
  • Randomly distribute the correct answers
  • Put the alternatives in some logical order
  • Keep all the alternatives in similar format
  • Make alternatives approximately equal in length
  • Use negatively stated stems sparingly

Essay Test


  • Easy to construct
  • Allows students to demonstrate ability to be creative, express opinion
  • Students less likely to guess


  • It limits the amount of content tested
  • Time consuming to score
  • Without rubric, potentially unreliable scoring

Suggestion for Writing Essay Test Items

  • Questions must be clearly define
  • Give students an appropriate amount of time
  • Avoid the use of optional questions
  • Questions must be in different level of learning
  • Choose a scoring model
  • Prepare students to take essay test

In my opinion multiple choice and essay test are both best types of traditional assessment. I think both bring balance to the time and effort in test construction and scoring of work. I am a newbie in this area (include rubric) but I am willing to enhance my skill through continuing practice. images21

I know that it’s not just for my own sake as a teacher but it will bring an advantage to my students by giving the grades that are reliable and valid. The sample test construction that I have done probably not yet satisfying but I am open minded to accept criticism to help me improve the skill.




Clay, B. (2001, October). Is This a Trick Question? A Short Guide to Writing Effective Test Questions. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from

Reiner, C., Bothell, T., Sudweeks, R., & Wood, B. (2002). Preparing Effective Essay Questions, A Self-directed Workbook for Educators. Retrieved from

Helmenstine, M. (2001). Chemical Reactions – Types of Chemical Reactions, Chemistry. Retrieved November 25, 2013, from


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