Evaluation and testing What is evaluation?Evaluation is the

What is evaluation'

Evaluation is the process of determining significance or worth, usually by careful appraisal and study. It can also be defined as the analysis and comparison of actual progress vs. prior plans , oriented toward improving plans for future implementation.. For this study evaluation and testing would be discussed under the following headings; the characteristics of a good test, types of testing and the reasons for testing, methods of evaluation and testing, why testing doesn't work, making testing more productive, alternatives to testing, and conclusion.

The characteristics of a good test.

The elements of a good test are:

Validity of the test :- Validity is the extent to which a test measures what it is intended to measure. Most important kinds of validity are, content and face validity. Content validity test accurately reflects the syllabus on which it is based. Face validity: The test looks at what teachers and students think of the test

Reliability : This means that it should produce consistent result at different times.

Types of testing and the reasons for testing.

The various types of tests and the reasons why they are given are: 1.Achievement tests: It is designed to show mastery of a particular syllabus 2.Progress tests: It assesses the progress students make in mastering materials taught in the classroom. 3.Diagnostic tests: it is used to identify specific weaknesses or difficulties so that an appropriate remedial programme can be planned. 4.Placement tests: this is given to sort students into teaching groups of the same ability. 5.Proficiency tests: It measures students' achievement in relation to a specific task which they are later required to perform. 6. Aptitude tests: This measures students' probable performance. Aptitude tests assess proficiency in language for language use

Methods of evaluation and testing.

The following determines the methods to be used in evaluating:

What you are testing or evaluating. The purposes of the evaluation. The resources available. Other factors unique to each situation and culture.

The methods of evaluation and testing include the following:

Interview Questionnaire Observation Discussion Survey Analysis of record and data.

Why Testing doesn't work.

Among the reasons why testing doesn't work include: -some students become nervous that they cant perform and don't give a true account of their knowledge or ability. -Other students can do well with last minute cramming -Once the test has finished, students can just forget all that they had learned. -Students become focused on passing tests rather than learning to improve their language skills.

Making testing more productive.

The negative aspect of a test can be checked through: -make the test a less intimidating experience by explaining to the students the purpose for the test -Give the students ample time for revision -Take into account students work on the course as well as the test result. -Be sensitive when you hand out the results. -Discourage students from comparing results with mates.

Alternatives to testing.

The following are alternatives to testing:

-continuous assessment: students are graded using a number of assignments over a period of time. -Portfolio: A student collects a number of assignments and projects and present them in a file, used as a basis for evaluation. -Self assessment: The students evaluate themselves with set out criteria. -Teacher's assessment: Teacher assesses students throughout the course, including the use of classroom contributions.


It should be noted that the difficulty of an item may relate to whether it has been covered in class or it may give an indication of how well it was understood. Such test analysis can give us information about how effective our teaching has been as well as actually evaluating the test. Evaluating tests carefully can ensure that the test improves after it is taken and can give us feedback on improving our test writing.

Overall I think that all methods of assessment have strengths and limitations and that tests have an important function for both students and teachers. By trying to limit the negative effects of tests, we can try to ensure that they as effective as possible. I don't think that tests should be the only criteria for assessment, but they are one of many tools that can be used.


-TESL/ TEFL theory from the learning and teaching experiences of Ted Power, 2003. -SIL international, 1999. -Bhola, 1990. -Spandel and stiggins, 1990. -Richard Frost, British council, turkey. -British Council English Language Publications