Exam 1: What to study for it
Chapters 1-6

I have tried to include the key issues, but this list does not necessarily include absolutely everything that will be on the test. Remember that you will have to APPLY many of these ideas. You should understand the differences in basic concepts. This means not only knowing their definitions, but also the PURPOSES, needs, or goals they reflect.

  1. Controversies over the aims and effects of externally-mandated achievement tests
  2. Purposes of assessment; relation of assessment to instruction; distinction between assessment, testing, and measurement
  3. Differences in types of items: selection vs. supply; objective vs. not; completion, short-answer, matching, multiple-choice, essay (restricted vs. extended response versions), vs. performance-based items (restricted vs. extended response versions)—and whether each of these is supply or selection, objective or not.
  4. Differences in types of interpretations of test scores: criterion-referenced vs. norm-referenced
  5. Differences in types of tests (once again, knowing for what purpose each is used): pre-instruction tests (readiness, pretest, and placement), formative, diagnostic, and summative. Their differences in purpose often mean that their breadth of content must also be different—for instance, mastery vs. survey.
  6. Validity, reliability, usability: what are they and why is each important? For what kinds of decisions is test reliability most important?
  7. Different forms of evidence for the valid use of tests: content, construct, criterion, and consequences. Which is most important when you put classroom tests together?
  8. What can you do that might hurt or help the validity of your tests? (What can lead to contamination or deficiency in sampling your achievement domain, for example?)
  9. What can you do that might hurt or help the reliability of your tests?
  10. Table of specifications, Bloom complexity levels, achievement domain (how are they related, and why are they important?)
  11. Specific learning outcomes—why are they so important, how should they be written?
  12. Different types of test items


Remember that just about everything we talk about goes back to purpose: what is my purpose in gathering this information? What inferences do I want to be able to draw from it? And, most basically, what do I want my students to learn? Your selection of items types and test types, for instance, must follow from your instructional goals (i.e., your specific learning outcomes).