Assembling and Administering Tests
In addition to the preparation of a test blueprint and the skillful construction of test items that correspond to it, the final appearance of the test and the way in which it is administered can affect the validity of the test results. A haphazard arrangement of test items, directions that are confusing, and typographical and other errors on the test may contribute to measurement error. By following certain design rules, teachers can avoid such errors when assembling a test. Administering a test usually is the simplest phase of the testing process. There are some common problems associated with test administration, however, that may also affect the reliability of the resulting test scores and consequently the validity of inferences made about those scores. Careful planning can help the teacher avoid or minimize such difficulties. This chapter discusses the process of assembling the test and administering it to students.
As discussed in Chapter 3, preparing a high quality test requires time for the design phases as well as for the item writing phase. Assembling the test is not simply a clerical or technical task; the teacher should make all decisions about the arrangement of test elements and the final appearance of the test even if someone else types or prints the test. The teacher must allow enough time for this phase to avoid errors that could affect the students’ test scores (Gaberson, 1996).
Various methods for arranging items on the test have been recommended, including by order of difficulty and according to the sequence in which the content