Testing for Language Teachers
By Arthur Hughes
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2002
Online Publication Date:May 2010
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511732980.008
This chapter begins by briefly laying down a set of general procedures for test construction. These are then illustrated by two examples: an achievement test and a placement test.
In brief, the procedures I recommend are these:
Before looking more closely at this set of procedures, it is worth saying that test development is best thought of as a task to be carried out by a team. It is very difficult for an individual to develop a test, if only because of the need to look objectively at what is being proposed at each stage of development. This difficulty can be seen most clearly at the stage of item writing, when faults in an item which are obvious to others are often invisible to the person who wrote the item. Writing items is a creative process, and we tend to think of our items as minor works of art or even, it sometimes seems, our babies.