What are Objective and Subjective Tests?

Objective and Subjective Tests (Pixabay)

Objective and Subjective Tests

There are two general types of assessment that tests are designed for:

1. Objective tests aim to assess a specific part of the learner’s knowledge using questions which have a single correct answer.

2. Subjective tests aim to assess areas of students’ performance that are complex and qualitative, using questioning which may have more than one correct answer or more ways to express it

Objective and Subjective Tests: Characteristics

These are some characteristics of objective and subjective tests:

Objective Tests characteristics:

  • They are so definite and so clear that a single, definite answer is expected.
  • They ensure perfect objectivity in scoring.
  • It can be scored objectively and easily.
  • It takes less time to answer than an essay test

Subjective Tests Characteristics

  • Subjective items are generally easier and less time consuming to construct than are most objective test items
  • Different readers can rate identical responses differently, the same reader can rate the same paper differently over time

What Effects Do Tests have on the Teaching and Learning Process?

The «washback or backwash effect is the effect that testing has on the teaching and learning processes. The effect can be positive or negative.

The validity of the testing process can influence the content of our courses, and the way we teach, in a direction that is either with or against the better judgment of the administrators, teachers, students, and parents.

From the point of view of testing, the washback effect becomes negative when there is a mismatch between what we the material / abilities we teach, and what is tested. For example, an achievement test that is only multiple choice has a negative washback effect on any attempt to teach productive skills such as speaking and writing in class.

On the other hand, if the achievement test includes both spoken and written parts, the washback effect has a positive influence on students (and teachers) attitudes to practicing productive skills in the classroom.

Type of Objective Questions

  1. Multiple- Choice Items
  2. True- False Items
  3. Matching Items
  4. Assertion-Reason Items
How to Find the Main Idea

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