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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Practicality/usability: A characteristic of a good test

According to Rehman (2007), Usability or practicality is another important characteristic of a good test. It deals with all practical considerations that go into decisions to use a particular test. While constructing or selecting a test, practical considerations must be taken into account. Rehman (2007) has given the following five practical considerations of a test.
Ease of administration
The test should be easy to administer so that the tester may easily administer. For this purpose there should be simple and contain clear instructions. There should be little number of subsets and appropriate (not too long) time for administering the test.
Time required for administration
In order to provide appropriate time to take the test, if the time is reduced, then reliability of the test will also reduce. A safe procedure to allocate as much time as the test requires for providing reliable and valid results. Between 20 to 60minutes is fairly good time for each individual score yielded by a published test.
Ease of interpretation and application
Another important aspect of practicality of test scores is interpretation and application of test results. If they are misinterpreted that will be harmful for the students. On the other hand if they are misapplied or not applied at all, then the test is useless.
Availability of equivalent forms
Equivalent forms tests help to verify the test scores. Retesting at the same time on the same domain of learning eliminates the factor of memory among the students.  The availability of equivalent forms of the test should be taken into mind while constructing/selecting a test.
Cost of testing
A test should be economical in terms of preparation, administration and scoring.
Importance of practicality of a test
The teachers, particularly untrained teachers can easily administer the tests which have been constructed/ considering practicality. The parents can be informed with right test results if the practical considerations have been taken care while constructing a test, which they will use in decision making about their children. Economical tests may save unnecessary expenses on stationery, print materials, photocopies and so on. True interpretations of test scores will be used by the students in their own plans and decisions (Linn & Gronlund, 2000).
 There are chances of giving wrong directions to students by untrained teachers while constructing or administering the tests.
      If time is reduced for taking test, the reliability of the test is reduced.
      Chances of misinterpretation and incorrect scoring in the absence of uniform criteria.
      Cost of testing is sometimes given far more weight than it deserves. Tests are relatively inexpensive and cost may not be a major consideration (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.