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Basic requirements of a written exam - Essay Example

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Written exam comprises of one or more essay questions or a combination of short-answer questions and multiple-choice questions, and is aimed at assessing the level of understanding and knowledge by either a student or job applicant in some organizations. In addition, a written…
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Download file to see previous pages According to Bloom’s taxonomy for levels of understanding, six levels include knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; typically, for the first three levels, written examinations are most suitable and can be made cost-effective where many students are to be evaluated. Nevertheless, written exams need to be set appropriately to ensure that they deliver a reliable evaluation of students’ knowledge. This is usually achievable through use of multiple-choice questions as they enable teachers to pinpoint depth of knowledge concerning detail. Coupled with proper setting, written examinations also require a defined grading system (Asklund and Bendix 1).
For a written exam to be effective, it should be valid, reliable and consistent, transparent, fair, efficient and ease in handling, and allow for useful feedback. Validity refers to measuring what is actually intended, where results achieved should be accounted for practically. Reliability and consistency enable achievement of similar results regardless of number of assessors and over time; more so, with marking schemes and assessment criterion. Transparency implies that the written examinations should test in such a way that the stated learning objectives are clearly met. Fairness calls for all students to be subjected to the same form of assessment and as per the criterion set. Lastly, to avoid written examinations being perceived as burdensome, they should be allocated sufficient time for both being done and marking, and afterwards, students should have their progress communicated to them in due course.
However, the requirements of a written exam differ with the type it is that is, whether unseen, revealed, open book, multiple choice or take home assignments. An unseen written exam occurs where the content of the exam are unknown to students whereas, in a revealed exam, students are made aware of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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