How to Create a Test: 5 Tips All Teachers Need to Know

Everybody knows that most students dread tests. Students spend the days leading up to a test with reviews, study groups, and stressing about their GPAs. Those who have graduated seldom miss those times.

However much students may hate tests, many teachers hate them just as much. Creating a test can be painstaking work. It requires you to narrow all that you’ve taught for this unit into a brief examination.

If writing tests is a stressful task for you, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll give you tips on how to create a test.

1. How To Create A Test: Demonstrate How The Exam Meets Course Objectives

Showing how the test aligns with course objectives helps boost confidence in students. Assuming they’ve done their work, students will most likely have met the goals of the course. This knowledge equips them to perform well on their exam.

Keeping the test aligned with your objectives also helps you narrow down your material. You can use them to determine what types of questions best reflect their mastery.

2. Write Clear, Explicit Instructions

When students take their tests, leave no room for doubt about what you want them to do. If they have to write an essay response, include specifications about the length of their response, what topics you want them to address, or how to format quotes.

Similarly, if you’re giving a math exam, make sure students know to show their work, what formulas they should use, whether they can use a calculator, etc. If you have trouble figuring out what kind of questions to ask, visit a math question bank for guidance.

3. Consider Your Time Constraints

Depending on what grade you teach, you’ll have different time constraints for your test. Some may have only forty-five minutes, some an hour, others an hour and a half.

Whatever the case, make sure students can finish the test in the time allotted. If you’re not sure how long the test may take, try taking it yourself.

Then, triple the amount of time it took you. That should be the amount of time the average student needs to finish.

4. Determine How Much Different Question Types Are Worth?

How many points should multiple-choice questions earn? What about essay questions? Short response?

When you craft your questions, make sure their quantification makes sense. For example, if a short response question is worth 5 points, what criteria determine whether a student gets all 5?

You may find it helpful to use an online test maker to find templates and formats that make it easy to organize your exam.

5. Let Someone Read Through Your Exam

Whether it’s a colleague in your subject or a TA, find somebody who will read through your exam. Having a second pair of eyes helps make sure the test has sufficient clarity and fairness.

Start Writing Your Exam

With these tips, you should have an idea of how to create a test. Don’t let yourself get too nervous. As long as your students can understand what the test asks of them, you’ve done your job well.

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