Objective type assessments stand out among the numerous sorts of tests because they have no ambiguity or prejudice in their grading. An objective type test can be scored by anyone, including a machine (computer) if the evaluator is given a key containing the correct answers to the questions or a key is supplied into the machine. As a result, they are commonly employed in competitive examinations when a high number of candidates appear and results must be announced quickly. Objective-type test items can be utilised effectively in the classroom if the teacher is well-versed in their construction, as building a good objective-type test item is as tough as scoring one. Each test item (question, in any form: objective, short answer, or essay) must be created in relation to the learning objective it is meant to assess.
The efficacy with which a test item tests the objective it is designed to measure determines its quality. As a result, while creating an objective type test item, one must be certain of the learning outcome to be tested and choose the proper form (objective, short answer, or essay), as each of these forms is not evenly suited to testing a certain type of learning outcome. As a result, it is critical for us as teachers to be able to make an informed judgement about when an objective type test item should be utilised and how to build a solid objective test item. To do so, we must be aware of the various purposes for which objective type test items may be used, as well as their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages when compared to other types of tests (e.g., essay type), and the various types and qualities required of a good objective type test item.
A classroom test can be used for serving four basic purposes such as:
(i) placement evaluation,
(ii) formative evaluation,
(iii) diagnostic evaluation, and
(iv) summative evaluation.
If appropriately constructed, an objective type test item can be utilised for each of these reasons. It works well for assessing factual knowledge. Some types can also assess comprehension, reasoning abilities, and other complicated outcomes.
Teachers of middle school and high school can get better results by practising MCQ Questions for Class 9 Maths, MCQ Questions for Class 8 Science, etc. to see how objective tests can be used for the above mentioned reasons.
An objective-type test item is best described by its complete objectivity and clarity in scoring. It has a single and specific correct response. The correct response, which is distinct, earns full marks, whereas the incorrect response receives no marks. The fact that an objective-type test item is entirely strummed is another distinguishing feature. Complete task structure confines students to the type of response required. It prevents deception and minimises the impact of writing abilities. An objective type test item’s scoring is not only objective, but also quick, simple, and reliable, which is its greatest benefit.
Objective items can be divided into two types: those that need students to offer the solution (supply type) and those that ask them to choose an answer from a set of options (choose type) (selection type).
All ‘selection type’ objective items have one shortcoming: guessing can never be completely eliminated. Though, by properly building them, guessing could be reduced. In this unit, we’ve also spoken about some strategies for reducing guessing.
Objective tests aren’t suited for every situation. While they’re great for sampling knowledge, creating objects to assess higher-order skills is far more complex. They can never assess a person’s writing expression or ability to communicate persuasively in their own words. They can, however, be used to assess higher-order skills if they are well-written.
Advantages of Objective Tests can be summed up as follows:
- Question marking can be easily standardised and, in certain cases, even automated.
- For quantitative fields, there are computer-aided assessment platforms (such as Numbas, MapleTA, and STACK) that can host not just numerical but also symbolic and graphical questions.
- Can minimise the amount of time spent marking, especially in courses with large student cohorts, while still offering a credible means of evaluation.
- Allows teachers to swiftly examine a wide range of topics and provide students and staff with instant and direct feedback.
- An objective type test contains a high number of questions, allowing for a thorough sampling of the material.
- This test eliminates the influence of luck and the practice of studying for expected questions. As a result, content validity and reliability have improved.
- It excludes non-essential (irrelevant) factors such as writing speed, expressive fluency, literary style, good handwriting, neatness, and so on.