Supporting academic facilitators


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Objectivity: A characteristic of a good test

The degree to which a test’s results are obtained the same by scoring different scorers without influences of their biases or beliefs on scoring is known as objectivity. Most standardized test of aptitude and achievement tests are high in objectivity. In essay type tests requiring judgmental scoring, different persons get different results or even a same person can get different results in different times (Linn & Gronlund, 2000). For example, a student writes an answer involving all required information to a particular question using different headings and subheadings.  Two persons check that response. One person likes the answer in headings and subheadings and another person likes the answers in essay form without headings. The person who likes the headings and subheadings will assign more marks while another will assign less mark. The test lacks in objectivity.
Objectivity of a test is determined by carefully studying the administration and scoring procedures to see where judgment is basic or bias may occur. Objective type tests such as true/false, multiple choice and so on are developed to overcome the lack of objectivity in tests. In essay type tests objectivity may be increased by careful phrasing of questions and by a standard set of rules for scoring (Swain et al, 2000).
Uses/ importance of objectivity
The teachers can judge and improve their own teaching and learning process through finding real strengths and weaknesses among the learners. Scorers of the tests reach a consensus about the performance/achievement of a student in a particular area of content being objective in scoring. The parents looking at the true results of test which have been assigned the scorers objectively may arrange for further improvement of their children if their children need an extra input. The Administration use trained clerks and machines to score the test in case of objective type test (Swain et al, 2000).
Factors affecting objectivity
Beliefs and biasness of the scorers affect the scoring or style of scoring of a score influences the scoring process which affects the objectivity of a test. Ambiguous directions in tests and unavailability of a sound criteria regarding scoring a test also affects the scoring which lead a threat to objectivity. Scoring of the tests by untrained teachers also affect the objectivity (Linn & Gronlund, 2000). 
      Objectivity reduces biasness of scorer in the test results.
      Reliability of test scores is ensured.
      Scoring essay type tests are improved
      Instructions are given clearly how to score the responses to items and other related topics are shared during scoring of test.
      Scorers are given training to score and interpret the test results (Rehman, 2007).
Objectivity lacks in teacher made tests particularly when untrained teachers score the test. Whatever the measures taken, there is still lack of objectivity in essay type tests than objective type tests, so the students with poor writing skills will be suffered. If scoring is done by clerks, professionalism of the teacher is challenged (Swain et al, 2000).
Linn, R. L., &Gronlund, N.E. (2000). Measurement and assessment in teaching (8thed.).Delhi: 
            Pearson Education.
Rehman, A. (2007). Development and validation of objective test items analysis in the subject                         physics for class IX in Rawalpindi city. Retrieved May 12, 2009 form International                
           Islamic university, Department of Education Web site:             

Swain, S. K., Pradhan, C., &Khotoi, S. P. K. (2000). Educational measurement: Statistics and 
            guidance. Ludhiana: Kalyani.