Learning Evaluation: Types of Standardized Tests
There are fundamentally four types of standardized tests.
Intelligence Tests: The two commonly used intelligence tests are the Stanford-Binet (SB) and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children (WISC). The first is group intelligence test; while the second is administered on an individual basis.
Achievement Tests: An achievement test is designed as a sampling of skills or abilities on specified area of knowledge. There are several types of achievement test. These are:
- Survey or general achievement tests: These are designed to measure the knowledge and skills of students in subject areas like math and science.
- Diagnostic tests: These are designed to identify and locate the strengths and weaknesses for purposes of placement and formulating an appropriate instructional program.
- Competency tests: These are designed to determine the learner's degree of competence in reading, language and math.
Aptitude Tests: These are administered as screening device for students who wish to enroll in a special school (such as music, art and science).
Personality Tests: These are generally used for special placement of students with learning problems. The most commonly used personality test is the California Test of Personality.
Inventory Tests: These are administered to measure the degree of mastery before the teaching of the subjects. The teacher uses this type of test to determine what the learners already know and what they do not know yet in connection with the subject matter to be learned.
Teacher-made Tests: These are administered to measure the achievements, progress, weakness, or defects of each learner or to determine the effectiveness of methods used. Teacher-made tests may either be the essay type or objective type.
Essay test items are best used in measuring thinking at the higher levels like application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Questions can be prepared quickly but checking can take more time than the objective type of test.
Essay questions, especially where there is no specific right answer, produce evaluation data of considerable value.
Authorities disagree on how structured and specific essay questions should be. For example, some authorities advocate using words such as "why," "how," and "what consequences." They claim questions worded in this way call for a command of essential knowledge and concepts and require learners to integrate the subject matter, analyze data, make inferences, and show cause and effect relations. Essay questions can be used effectively for determining how well a learner can analyze, synthesize, evaluate, think logically, solve problems and hypothesize.