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Achievement Test- Construction and Administration of test

Construction and Administration of a test

Construction and administration of a test involves the following steps:-


This step is concerned with determining the maximum time, marks and nature of the test. These should be decided in terms of the nature and scope of the unit or units involved in the testing. A test for a single unit may be generally of 40 to 45 minutes duration, with a maximum of 20 to 25 marks. But in case of test conducted at the end of a term, a semester or a session, the duration may be about 2 or 3 hours and the maximum marks may be of 50, 80 or 100.


The objective, content, form of question and the weightage of difficulty level are the most important factors to be considered while designing the test. What is required is to analyse the syllabus in terms of the objectives and the content area and determine the relative weightage to each of the pre-determined objectives as well as the subunits into which the contents have been divided. In the same way, the weightage for the different forms of questions to be included and for the difficult levels to be maintained also are considered while finalizing the design. This will be followed by the scheme of option (choice of questions) if any and scheme of sections into which the test has to be divided in case it is required.

A sample design for a unit test with a maximum of 50 marks and the duration of one and a half hours is given below. This is designed to measure behaviors in the cognitive domain only.

Design for a unit test

  • Weightage to instructional objectives

Sr.no. Objective marks Percentage
1 Knowledge (information) 10 20
2 Understanding 20 40
3 Application 8 16
4 Analysis 5 10
5 Synthesis 5 10
6 Evaluation 2 4
Total 50 100


  • Weightage to content areas

Sr.no. Sub-unit marks Percentage
1 1st 15 30
2 2nd 10 20
3 3rd 10 20
4 4th 5 10
5 5th 10 20
Total 50 100


  • Weightage to form of questions

Sr.no. Form of questions No. of questions Marks Percentage
1 Objective-type 25 25 50
2 Short-answer-type 5 15 30
3 Long-essay-type 1 10 20
Total 31 50 100


  • Weightage to difficulty level

Sr.no. Level of difficulty Marks Percentage
1 Easy 10 20
2 Average 30 60
3 Difficulty 10 20
Total 50 100


  • Scheme of option

There will be no option for any type of questions

  • Scheme of sections

The test will be in two sections: A and B. A will contain all the objective type items and section B is meant for short answer and essay type questions.

Guidelines for preparing test design are

  1. The design should reflect the pre determined objectives envisaged at the time of instruction.
  2. As in the case of weightage for content, there is no final ruling regarding the number of subunits into which the content has to be divided. It depends on the total content area as well as its nature. One suggestion for fixing the weightage is the scope of each subunit in the curriculum, as indicated by the time allotted for its instruction.
  3. Regarding the number of questions under each form also there cannot be any uniformly acceptable design. Whether more weightage has to be given to a particular form of question depends on factors like the nature of content, the possibility for coverage, etc. Time is another factor determining the nature of questions.
  4. Regarding the weightage of difficult level what is suggested in the sample is an acceptable pattern. Sixty percent of items of average difficulty with twenty percent on either side is a distribution that will suit to students of all levels.
  5. Modern trend is to avoid option.