Prof N Irabanta Singh
Contd from previous issue
Another excellent type of question setting is to give the students a passage to read and then give them several questions testing the comprehensive of what they have read. Passages may be taken from text books at the next higher level e.g. M.A/ M.Sc text books for B.A/B.Scexams and edited to make them useable or passage from research articles may also be used. Such passages and questions are often the best means for measuring the skills of analysis, synthesis and judgment. There are two important rules for writing short answer test questions viz.,(i) Is the knowledge and ability required by the question important or just an irrelevant detail, (ii) the best questions are those which are of average difficulty i.e. those which can be solved correctly by 50% of the students. Thus, the difference between the good student and the poor student lies in the number of questions of average difficulty which he/she can answer. The methods for improving the traditional questions are really the same as for writing good short-answer questions. The above noted 2(two) abnormal cases were due to vagueness of questions set by the setters. Indeed whose tests were inadequate. Recommendation and Conclusion
In “New Frontiers of Education” (1972) vol.2:50-57, Dr. Walker Hill published his article entitled “Examinations – some practical points”. He pointed out “in setting question papers, the Teacher even the eminent Professor is amateur”. However, even the amateur may improve his/her work, given a few leads. Specialized training is valuable, but even without it much can be done. Examination reforms only three things viz., (i) intelligence, (ii) skill and (iii) courage. If intelligence and courage – the courage to try something new – are there; the skill can be developed, even out of personal experience only. It can be concluded that even tests of modest quality can contribute appreciably to educational and appraisal enterprises. Otherwise, it would be better not to test at all if we test our students with vague Question papers.
Prof N Irabanta Singh