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(Additions to lecture 2)
What is a test?

There are three components of a test: method, performance, and domain.

First component, method, is an instrument: a set of techniques, procedures, or items

that requires the performance of the test-taker. A test must be explicit and structured to

be qualified as a good method.

Next, a test measures an individuals ability, knowledge, or performance. To be able to
measure appropriately, testers need to understand who the test-takers are, what their

previous experience and background is, and how should interpret the test scores.
Finally, a test measures a given domain. A proficiency test usually only uses a
sampling of skills, but the domain is the overall proficiency, or general competence in
all skills.

A well-constructed test is an instrument that provides an accurate measure of the test-takers

ability within a particular domain. The definition sounds so simple, but in fact, test
construction is a complex job that involves both science and art

Testing aids later retention.

Testing identifies gaps in knowledge.
Testing causes students to learn more from the next learning episode.
Testing produces better organization of knowledge.
Testing improves transfer of knowledge to new concepts.
Testing can facilitate retrieval of information that was not tested.
Testing improves metacognitive monitoring.
Testing prevents interference from prior material when learning new material.
Testing provides feedback to instructors.
Frequent testing encourages students to study

Assessment and Teaching

Purposes for Assessment

Diagnose students strengths and needs
Provide feedback on student learning
Provide a basis for instructional placement
Inform and guide instruction
Communicate learning expectations
Motivate and focus students attention and effort
Provide practice applying knowledge and skills

Assessment is an ongoing process that has a much wider domain than a test. Whenever a
student answers a question, gives comments, writes some work, or tries out new structure, the

teacher subconsciously makes an assessment of the students performance. Tests are then just
a subset of assessment.

To, make an optimal learning happens in class, the learners must have the freedom to
experiment, to try out the new skill and knowledge without feeling that their overall
competence is being judged. They have to be given ample chances to play with the new
knowledge and skill in a classroom without being formally graded. Teaching English sets up
the practice games of language learningthe chances for learners to listen, think, take risks,
set goals, and process feedback from their facilitator and then recycle through the skills that
they are trying to master. Look at the figure below to illustrate the relationship among testing,
teaching, and assessment.

All tests are formal assessments, but not all formal assessment is testing. For example, a set of
observation on students oral participation in a speaking class is not a test. Tests are usually
time-constrained (several minutes or hours only) and draw on a limited sample of behaviour.

Informal and Formal Assessment

Summative and Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment

Summative Assessment

Norm-Referenced and Criterion Referenced Tests

Norm-Referenced Tests

Criterion-Referenced Tests