Unit 18: How you were tested while you were learning?

17 May

This part of our learning process has been one of the most difficult for me!

During my entire life I have been tested in some few ways, some of them were with these kind of tests:

  • an achievement tests: is used to see how ell learners have learned the language and skills taught in class, are often at the end of the term or year and test the main points.
  • an objective test : is marked without using the examiner’s opinion, e.g. tru/false questions, multiple-choice questions. There is a clear answer.
  • a summative test: are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.
Even though there are more than these tests, I just had the chance to practice these ones, let me show you some pictures about these different kinds of tests:
  • PROFICIENCY TEST: is used to see how good learners are at using the target language.
  • PROGRESS TEST: is use during a course in order to assess the learning up to a particular point in the course.

  • STANDARIZED TEST:are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.
  •  PLACEMENT TEST: is often used at the beginning of a course in a language school in order to identify a learner’s level of language and find the best class for them.
  •  SUBJECTIVE TEST: is marked using the examiner’s opinion about the quality of the answer. The answer is not simply right or wrong, e.g. marking written stories, compositions, conversation, story-telling. 
*Some of the pictures are illegibly, so click on the image and you will see it in a full size,moreover I’m so sorry because I couldn’t paste the URL below some images .

During this period of time I used to get a lot of stress because most of these test are graded, so I wanted to pass not to fail. There are some disadvantages about these kind of test:

  • in order to get a great grade, students can feel forced to cheat
  • some students can just memorize what they were taught during that time
  • students are graded only on superficial knowledge
  • teachers can’t notice their students’ needs

So, instead to feel excited about being tested most of the students feel exasperated because of it and the fear to fail the exam.

But, the main question, why most of our teachers test students through this way? Probably because in this way they have some advantages besides they have a period of time to grade more than forty students in only a few months, that’s why our teachers could be in a rush while testing students. Let’s see some opinions about why teachers use these methods of graded test:

  • Convenient
  • Can be adopted and implemented quickly
  • Are scored objectively
  • Can test large numbers of students
  • Curriculum needs to be fulfilled
  • Most of the teachers test in the same way

Even though there are plenty of these opinions, students got bored with the same test’s way. On the other hand, I learned that there are some other ways to assess students during their learning, let me show you some of them:

  • Continuous assessment
  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Formal assessment
  • Formative assessment
  • Informal assessment
  • Peer assessment
  • Performance assessment
  • Portfolio assessment
  • Self-assessment
  • Summative assessment

The ones that are highlighted are the most I would have liked to be tested. These are aimed to grade students through a course, involves feedback and peer feedback, moreover these ways to assess students let the teachers to notice their learners’ needs and if they are progressing well or not. Nevertheless, some of these assessments have disadvantages that could be like the next ones:

  • Time consuming and challenging to evaluate
  • Space and ownership challenges make evaluation difficult
  • Content may vary widely among students
  • Costly in terms of evaluator time and effort

While learning about these assessments I understood why it’s very difficult for some teachers try to achieve their goals while teaching. I understood why most of the teachers use the same techniques while grade.  It’s difficult when teachers have to follow a curriculum and time it is not enough to teach. However, I have had great teachers, even though time’s up, they got a new idea to leave an interesting way to do homework, to practice at home, and to review items on school. Our work as teachers depends on what and how much we what our learners keep on mind instead of learning items by heart before the tests. Unfortunately, some teachers forget to feedback learners through their course or once they have been graded, and this is so important for students that it could change the way they expect their tests.

If I were a teacher I would like to test students along the way, while using different kinds of exercises or activities, practicing by a speaking activity or writing an essay, using rubrics or test them the Informal assessment. Well, it’s the way I would like to test students instead of pressure them to get a good grade because if they not they would fail the course. I really know how much uncomfortable or worried students could feel before the exams and after them, until they receive their grades.

In my opinion, if it’s necessary to apply an exam or a grade in a Summative assessment, because of the curriculum, so go on, but don’t forget the progress during the course that your students have been doing, well or not, you have been part of it!

Now, let’s practice about these assessments’ definitions, click on the next icons!


Assesmentes tasks: Subjective Assesmentes tasks: Objective Self-assessment Summative assessment
Performance assessment Diagnostic assessment Assessment criteria Peer assessment
Portfolio assessment Continuous assessment Formative assessment Formal assessment
Informal assessment Assessments Subjective test Placement test
Objective test Diagnostic test Progress test Proficiency test
Summative test Achievement test



1 Comment

Posted by on 17/05/2012 in TKT HOMEWORK, UNIT 18


One response to “Unit 18: How you were tested while you were learning?

  1. mrferchopoliz

    18/05/2012 at 3:13 am

    Hi Yesy!!! I totally agree with you. I think you are like me, because you say how we can be very stressed and feel fear, pressed for get a good grade and we are very worried about it. Test are difficult and yes, the majority of our teachers used to apply the same old and bored kind of test. I think is time to aplly new strategies in order to help students. I like a lot the last part, when you say that yes we accept that the paper besed test is required or part of the curriculum, but a big (huge!!) part of the students evaluation is during the progress of the course and we have to keep in mind that. (Not give all the importance or one hundred percent to a final exam) I love your post, de desig and the organization (your lists with “bullets” are very interesting and totally true) Very good Be fine. Your friend Fer =) Byee


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