Talk:Test (assessment)

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      • Searching for "exam" should not redirect at this "Test (assessment)" article - there should be a separate article for "exam", including a disambiguation page! *** —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Removed from article:

Attributes: test fidelity, objectivity, test reliability, test validity.
A test item is a component of an assessment tool which requires a response by the test-taker and which is scored separately. Items are combined in a test to measure a student's characteristics. The combination of items is chiefly guided by concerns about reliability.

until someone translates it into English. -- Merphant 03:54 26 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Removed "Standardized tests often consist of mostly multiple-choice questions. They are often graded by a computer, since they are usually administered to a very large group of people."

  • There is no reason standardized tests need to be multiple choice, and in the UK, they rarely are.
  • "Often"? Maybe in some countries, but I don't think this generalisation should be made.
  • "large number of people" - standardized tests are often given individually, particular in areas such as dyslexia tests.

Angela 20:16, 30 Jul 2003 (UTC)

We need to change the name of this page. Not all tests assess students. I propose either "Test (skills assessment)" or "Exam." -Smack 03:12, 16 Sep 2003 (UTC)

From the passage on multiple choice tests:

If a subject makes an error and produces an answer that is not an option, the subject will see that he or she is wrong. As a result, he or she will probably continue working until an allowable answer is achieved. If the subject fails to produce an allowable answer after an inordinate amount of time, he will probably suffer from dramatically increased anxiety, leading to a cascade of further errors not representative of his actual level of knowledge.

I was about to write a new article on multiple choice tests when I found out -- just in time -- that Smack had included a paragraph or two on that subject in the general article on testing. Now I've been trying hard to understand the passage quoted above, but I think I failed. How can an examinee "see that he or she is wrong"? Where does that form of instant feedback come from? <KF> 22:32, 4 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I meant that if, for instance, the answer choices are 2, 4, 6, and 8, but you come up with 7, you'll probably take another shot at the problem. Please rewrite my statement to make it clear. --Smack 07:37, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Test = Exam?[edit]

Having just finished reading Assessment, I've come here to learn more about testing, assessing and evaluating. What I find interesting is that Exam redirects to Test (student assessment) and that oral exams are not even mentioned. Do they not exist in the countries about which this article was written? <KF> 17:36, Oct 12, 2004 (UTC)


The article seems very anti-examinations. Sentences like "Despite the problems with testing, little has been done to prevent them, especially in schools that are rigid and unwilling to change their rules," make it sound like testing is some ridiculous farce that bureaucracies continue to use out of tradition. Whether or not this is in fact the case (testing does, admittedly, suffer from many of the described drawbacks), the article should try to present the upside of tests, in addition to the problems. MrHumperdink 17:40, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Agree with you. I'm going to have a go at balancing it when I find the time. Stephenhumphry 05:33, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
Let's achieve better neutrality in section "The flaws and politics of testing" by deleting the following items:
  • References to conformism/uniformity/freedom - What is the point of, say, a math course if students do not need to conform to correct answers?
  • The paragraph below the bulleted list - Insinuates that testing is some sort of conspiracy in the school system which should be dislodged.
  • Cheating as a widespread problem - In most testing situations, the answers to the questions cannot be "obtained beforehand." Methods for cheating are hardly a "formidable arsenal."
  • "The penalization of students who do badly on tests" - Assuming the knowledge of a student is going to be evaluated, there is no alternative to penalizing students to some degree for low test marks. Alksub 05:42, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Totally agree. Busy time of year for me, but I'm going to try to get to this still if nobody else does in the mean time. Thanks. Stephenhumphry 08:59, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Where are the pros of tests?[edit]

I see a list of dozens of cons, but where is the positive aspect of testing? Or is it non-existant?--Fito 16:47, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

No, they're not non-existent. Despite limitations, tests are a much fairer way of selecting people than anything else that has been proposed. Certainly, subjective judgments made in the absence of any level playing field are considerably worse (even if you make explicit the criteria for making the judgments). I can tell you I'd much rather the medical doctor I go to see have passed tests than to discover that a few teachers thought her/his knowledge and skills seemed good enough (and that's not to say I don't value such judgments, you just have to be realistic about the limitations of using such judgments). Stephenhumphry 05:33, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

so why are test good? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

High stakes[edit]

This article calls the SAT's high stakes, however, it does not say why they are wor what high stakes testing is.

Isn't high stakes self-explanatory? Stephenhumphry 12:10, 2 November 2005 (UTC)


I've had a go at making this conform with NPOV. I omitted the list of "cons" entirely - I think there is balance in the text, which is destroyed by a long list of cons without a corresponding list of pros. If anyone disagrees, though, I'm open to debate. Will revisit and try to refine some more later. Stephenhumphry 12:10, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Unless anyone objects, I'll remove the NPOV check in a few days. I think the article is considerably more balanced now. Anyone still have concerns? smhhms 14:48, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Seems pretty balanced to me. Considering the number of students on Wikipedia though a little anti-test bias seems inevitable though. Deco 17:47, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I removed the dot point introduced in "Flaws and politics" becaust it is not neutral, contains unsupported assertions, and contains several different points, which defeats the purpose of using a dot point. Pleae cite evidence if you wish to make such strong and, on the face of it, biased statements as "inflexible time limits can cause ..." and "tests encourage non-creativeness and rigidity". smhhms 10:55, 25 December 2005 (UTC)


I removed the chart. I don't think the chart helps the reader understand the essence of testing at all. It would be appropriate for a subsection on normative assessment perhaps. The chart needs to be clearly linked to content of the article and to have clear explanation. smhhms 10:55, 25 December 2005 (UTC)


GCSE's and A-level's are hardly international... they are only taken by British students. And what does 'international (internal) mean anyway? It seems to be a contradiction in terms.
Thats not true, I know lots of people in India and many other former British colonies that still take British exams.

Terrafire 14:57, 7 March 2006 (UTC)


When were the tests first used in the world. 21:26, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

The first written tests where given at Cambridge, though my only source for this is my memory of QI episodes Thomashauk (talk) 16:17, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
The Chinese used tests far earlier, see Imperial examination.Iulus Ascanius (talk) 16:44, 14 November 2008 (UTC)


Aptitude tests come in at least two forms: Aptitude Battery and Scholastic Aptitude Test. Since the word Aptitude Test redirects here where dose the disambiguation need to be. -- User:JonGrover

Test anxiety[edit]

The following comments were removed from the main page to the talk page:

Students often have fears when big tests are coming up. Common fears that they have include making d (grade) and effophobia. Those fears can greatly influence how they do on their tests. Having fears actually can make them do worse on their tests than if they didn't have such fears. Good test taking skills to help prevent failure are to get a good night's sleep, study very hard for the test, eat breakfast in the morning and try to lower your effophobia and d (grade) fear. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheSpaceRace (talkcontribs)

Student Assessment: Europe vs USA[edit]

In several European countries, e.g. Germany and the UK, students qualify for a degree after passing a series of comprehensive degree examinations and normally submitting a graduation thesis or final project. In historical universities like Oxford for example, preliminary exams for B.A. students are normally taken at the end of the first year while final degree exams are then taken only at the end of the third year, right before graduation. Natural sciences and engineering students, who are usually studying instead for 4-year degrees, may be required however to take final exams at the end of every academic year in addition to maintaining a satisfactory record of lab assignments. In any case though, even in the most demanding courses (like 4-year engineering for example), a UK student in the aggregate has to take no more than 30 written exams (i.e something between 5 to 8 papers/year) to qualify for an initial degree.

In the United States by contrast, bachelor's degrees are not awarded based on comprehensive exam results, but rather by earning a minimum number of required credits (or academic units). Performance is individually assessed for each class taken by the student in terms of a letter grade. Contrary to what happens in Europe, classes are normally offered on a semester basis and performance assessment is continuous, based on handed-in homework, midterms and final exams. Depending on the classes taken and the corresponding credits earned, a student may qualify for a degree in one or two major areas of concentration, or, alternatively, in one major and one or more minor areas. Overall, assuming a student typically takes 5 classes per semester and each class has typically two midterms and one final, it is pretty common for an American undergraduate to take as many as 120 (!!) written tests before being awarded a 4-year BA/BS, not to mention weekly problem sets/homework assignments, lab assignments, and other required class projects.

Superficially then, it looks like US students (and students in other countries that follow the US model of continuous performance assessment) are "overtested" compared to their counterparts in Germany and the UK for example. That doesn't necessarily mean though that US degrees are "better" or "deeper" than British or German ones; they just use different assessment models. I guess each model has its pros and cons. A student who doesn't have to take any formally assessed exam for another one or two years runs the risk of "slacking off" (although that is normally avoided in Oxbridge by the system of tutorials/supervisions, which requires students to turn in written work every week or so, even if not formally assessed for academic credit). On the other hand, the obvious downside of "overtesting" as in the US model is that, in addition to being overly stressful for students, it risks making preparation for tests/exams an end in itself whereas, in reality, learning should be the focus and test results just a consequence of how well a student learned the material or not. I think that a more detailed comparison between the two models (continuous performance assessment versus major degree examinations) should be included in the article to provide a more international perspective. Toeplitz 13:12, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Why does Aptitude test redirect here?[edit]

Why does Aptitude test redirect here? This is a general article and even the section that talks about aptitude tests is vague and unclear to me. Strawberry Island 16:58, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Exam Restrictions eg possessions[edit]

There could be a section on common envigilation proceedures for exams, interesting ways people have tried (and failed) to cheat them, the reasons why things are done. In particular, does anyone know why some institutions prevent you taking more than 500ml of water into an exam? (talk) 17:08, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Why does "question types" redirect here?[edit]

"question types" are subject of a completely different matter and not only related to tests (see for example: surveys). It would be nice if someone can remove this redirection so an article can be created on that matter.

Psychological Test[edit]

I would like to see a new article for "Psychological Test". This concept is different than the notion of a student test. A psychological test is not an assessment or a type of assessment. In psychology, an assessment is a broader term than test; tests exist within the context of an assessment, which is more comprehensive than just the administration of a single test. By one definition, psychological assessment is a flexible, not standardized, process aimed at reaching a defensible determination concerning one of more psychological issues or questions, through the collection, evaluation, and analysis of data appropriate to the purpose at hand (Maloney & Ward, 1976). A psychological test, then, is part of this assessment, and is a systematic procedure for obtaining samples of behavior, relevant to cognitive or affective functioning, and for scoring and evaluating those samples according to samples (Kaufman & Kaufman, 2004). The current article starts off by equating test with assessment, which is a "no-no" in psychology. If people have suggestions for remedying this, please comment. --1000Faces (talk) 00:24, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Merger Discussion May 2010[edit]

I proposed this merger because Exam and Exams redirect to Test (student assessment).

("Exams" used to redirect to Final examination but I changed this as I felt that "Test (student assessment)" was more suitable.)

"Examination" is only a stub article and Test (student assessment) is quite extensive.

Feel free to discuss, best regards, Captain n00dle\Talk 08:13, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Totally agree. I never even knew Examination existed, and what little is there can easily be merged. Thanks! Iulus Ascanius (talk) 15:45, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Completely Disagree. An Examination is always much more serious than a Test. Test usually relates to Primary school wheras a Exam is Secondary school and done mid year for subjects and end of year which usually accounts for a large percentage of the subjects total mark. Far different to a test. Bobbybillet (talk) 11:25, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Agree. It does not make sense that "Exam" redirects to this article but "Examination" doesn't. Test is a generic term and the seriousness of the term is relative. I think the merger should go ahead. mezzaninelounge (talk) 20:15, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

If there are no further objections, I plan to redirect the "Examination" article to this Test article. I will also insert the short history section from the examination article into the history section of this test article. If anyone has any thoughts on this issue, please feel free to share it. Thanks. mezzaninelounge (talk) 12:23, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

I have merged the contents from the examination article to this article and have made the examination article a redirect to this article. mezzaninelounge (talk) 21:43, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Rewritten and reformatted article[edit]

I and a few others have taken the liberty to rewrite and reformat the entire article to address many of the concerns that were raised in the article and in the talk page. I hope previous and future editors will find these changes to be an improvement. I welcome your views and encourage anyone with an idea or two to contribute to this article, which I think is very important. mezzaninelounge (talk) 02:43, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

I would like to discuss the language used. I think that we should standardise - use candidate rather than test-taker, student or testee for instance. Similarly, invigilator and convenor rather than examiner and test-writer. -mattbuck (Talk) 02:55, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

I understand your reasons for wanting to standardize the language. My only reservation is that terms like "candidate" are more prevalent in Commonwealth countries whereas the other terms such as student or test-taker are more prevalent in North America. Likewise with terms such as invigilators and proctors. North Americans called them proctors. mezzaninelounge (talk) 17:21, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Propose merging contents from Physical fitness test and Performance test[edit]

I find that the scope of this article is broad enough to include merging the contents from the Physical fitness test and Performance test article. Those two articles are fairly short and need not be standalone articles. I also propose renaming this article to Test (assessment). Please share your thoughts. mezzaninelounge (talk) 22:04, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

If no one objects, I plan to integrate all three articles into a single piece. Please share your thoughts on this issue. mezzaninelounge (talk) 15:49, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Progress testing new article[edit]

This new article is the start of what we hope will be a larger project to inform a wider audience on the principles, practise and practicalities of progress testing in a range of international contexts. This will enable medical educators and students of medical education with an interest in progress testing to have a first port of call for up to date information. It would be possibly be relevan to include a short paragraph on progress testing in the test (assessment) section with a link to the Progress Testing article.Parevest (talk) 15:06, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Still nothing on aptitude tests?[edit]

A previous post asked about why "aptitude test" redirects here when there is nothing specifically about them in the article. I'd be surprised if there were nothing about them in WP; am I looking in the wrong place?RDBury (talk) 19:23, 5 January 2013 (UTC)