Types of essay test items

If you are aware of and make an effort to follow the three principles, you will develop tests that have the desired technical properties referred to as reliability and validity. Baker, Former Director of the Office of Measurement and Evaluation of Teaching As you can see, scoring of objective tests is quite simple. To use the analytic method, you develop a list of the major elements you believe students should include in the ideal answer.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of essay type questions

The holistic approach to scoring essay items involves your reading an entire response and assigning it to a category identified by a score or grade. Regardless of whether you decide to use an analytic or holistic method of scoring, there are several guidelines to consider with respect to the scoring of essay tests: Develop scoring criteria or model answers.

Decide whether you are going to score factors other than content, such as spelling, language usage, and organization. Make sure that your students are aware if you are, and give a separate score for these factors. Score essay responses anonymously to avoid any bias resulting from your familiarity with students and their previous work. One idea is to have students write their names on the back of the answer sheet or booklet.

If you have a large number of papers to score, stop when you get tired so that your frame of mind will not cause your scoring to be inconsistent. When you start again, read over the last few papers you scored to be sure that your scoring was objective. Provide students with feedback so that the test provides an opportunity for students to learn their strengths and weaknesses. You can provide short written comments or verbal feedback to students in a brief conference.

Scoring Essays and Problems. Test Construction and Scoring As Nitko and others emphasize, the following three principles are important to follow when constructing classroom assessments: Focus on your teaching and learning objectives. Develop your assessments so that they elicit from your students only the knowledge and performance that are relevant to your teaching and learning objectives.

Assigning Absolute Scale Grades. Tags: faculty , instructors , teaching assistants.

The main function of the expository essay is to explain, or to acquaint your reader with something; it can be used to describe, explain or present some information. In order to write an expository essay, preparation and background research will be required. Expository writing will also requires to show the understanding of the chosen topic. In their most common form, expository essays will take about 5 paragraphs; however, classes and instructors may require them to be larger in size.

No matter the size, an essay should at all times include an introduction and a conclusion — the body length may vary.

Much more than documents.

With this type of writing you will need not only to prove your point, but will also have to persuade your opposition that your viewpoint is logical and well founded, and thus — better. In this case, you are no longer merely showing what you know; you are convincing the reader that you are correct in your viewpoint. In order to write this kind of essay it is important to prepare in advance by choosing a side, making a case for it, anticipating alternative arguments and finding ways how to refute them. The informal essay is a type of essay written mainly for enjoyment.

The informal essay tends to be more personal than the formal, even though both may express subjective opinions. In a formal essay the writer is in a silent presence behind the words, while in an informal essay the writer is speaking directly to the reader in a conversational manner. A review may be either formal or informal, depending on the context.

Its goal is to evaluate a specific piece, perhaps a novel or movie. A more formal review will not only discuss the work or its own merits but will also place it in context. Writing a research paper involves going to source material and synthesizing what you learned from it with your own ideas.

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You must find texts on the subject and use them to support the topic you have been given to explore. Since it is easy to become lost in a wilderness of outside material, you must take particular care in narrowing your topic. A literary essay focuses on such elements as structure, character, theme, style, tone, and subtext. You are taking a piece of writing and trying to discover how and why it is put together the way that it is. You must adopt a viewpoint on the work in question and show how the details of the work support your viewpoint.

A literary essay may be your own interpretation, based only on your reading of the piece, or it may be a mixture of your opinions and references to the criticism of others, much like a research paper. The cause and effect essay includes some elements of writing that might be considered more professional than those a descriptive or narrative essay might include.

It is very important, for instance, that your tone be reasonable, and that your presentation be factual and believable. Additionally, the first-person point of view does not work; you should sound objective and impartial. Such essays are mostly subjective in nature, and writers are required to come up with differences or similarities they are able to point out and analyze. There are different compare and contrast patterns for these essays, yet the overall essay structure remains invariable: there should be an introduction, a few body paragraphs and a conclusion.

Constructing the Essay Questions. An essay test is a useful measurement instrument only to the extent that it is constructed, administered and scored to ensure a high level of objectivity. For this reason, essay test items should consist of items that will ensure the same understanding and elicit only the skill or ability one is interested in measuring from every examinee. The following points are suggested as guide for construction of good essay test items. In other words, they are to be used for questions that call for complex learning outcomes that pertain to the organization, integration and expression of ideas which would not have been possible without the use of essay test items.

Formulation of questions that call forth the behaviour specified in the learning outcomes.

IELTS Writing: The 3 Essay Types

Essay questions should be designed to elicit only the skill which the item was intended to measure. This can be achieved by expressing clearly and precisely the question in line with clearly defined instructional objective. In addition, an action verb like compare, contrast, illustrates, differentiates, criticized and so on could be used to give the test items more focus. Phrase each question to clearly indicate the examinees task.

An essay question has to be precise.

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Indicate the score allotted to the test. Indication of approximate time limit for each question. It is necessary to indicate time allotted to each question to enable the examinee to pace their writing on each question and to allay any anxiety that might arise. It is also not easy to construct essay questions of the same difficulty level. Learners are free to select, relate and present ideas in their own words. This freedom enhances the value of essay questions as a measure of complex achievement but it leads to scoring difficulties that make them insufficient as measure of factual knowledge.

The specific features of essay questions can be utilized most fully when their shortcomings are offset by the need for such measurement. More so, when these outcomes are of such great educational significance that the expenditure of energy in the difficulty and time-consuming task of evaluating the answers can be easily justified.


Constructing Essay Exams

The essay test has got some advantages in the area of measurement and evaluation. Some of these advantages are The free response form allows the student to express himself in his own words making use of his proficiency in the language being used to his advantage. This is because the student has to think out the answer himself and put it down in organized form. It helps students to improve their writing skills such as writing speed, legibility etc because they write in their handwriting. It can be easily and conveniently written on the chalkboard because of the few items involved.

This saves materials and time for production.

Creating and Scoring Essay Tests

Limitations of the essay test. Despite the advantages already listed for essay test, it does not satisfy some important qualities of a good measuring instrument. The provision of few questions results in the invalid and narrow coverage of subject matter and instructional objectives. In this regard, essay questions discourage the development of good study habit.

This results in poor reliability in scoring. The examinee therefore perceives and reacts to the same questions differently.