Reasons for Testing

Testing is done for many different reasons in various fields such as education,  business, and even government. There are many motivations that people have for using evaluation. In this post, we will look at four reasons that testing is done. The five reasons are…

  • For placement
  • For diagnoses
  • For assessing progress
  • For determining proficiency
  • For providing evidence of competency

For Placement

Placement test serve the purpose of determining at what level a student should be placed. There are often given at the beginning of a student’s learning experience at an institution, often before taking any classes. Normally, the test will consist of specific subject knowledge that a student needs to know in order to have success at a certain level.

For Diagnoses

Diagnostic test are for identifying weaknesses or learning problems. There similar to a doctor looking over a patient and trying to diagnose the patients health problem. Diagnostic test help in identifying gaps in knowledge and help a teacher to know what they need to do to help their students.

For Assessing Progress

Progress test are used to assess how the students are doing in comparison to the goals and objectives of the curriculum.  At the university level, these are the mid-terms and final exams that students take. How well the students is able to achieve the objects of the course is measured by progress test.

For Determining Proficiency 

Testing for proficiency provides a snapshot of the student is able to do right now. They do not provide a sign of weaknesses like diagnoses nor do they assess progress in comparison to a curriculum like progress test. Common examples of this type of test are test that are used to determine admission into a program such as the SAT, MCAT, or GRE.

For Providing Evidence of Proficiency 

Sometimes, people are not satisfied with traditional means of evaluation. For them, they want to see what the student can do by having the student through examining the students performance over several assignments over the course of a semester. This form of assessment  provides a way of having students produce work that demonstrates improvement in the classroom.

One of the most common forms of assessment that provides evidence of proficiency is the portfolio. In this approach, the students collect assignments that they have done over the course of the semester to submit. The teacher is able to see how the progress as he sees the students’ improvement over time. Such evidence is harder to track through using tests.

Conclusions

How to assess is best left for the teacher to decide. However, teachers need options that they can use when determining how to assess their students. The examples provided here give teachers ideas on what can assessment they can use in various situations.

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