“Exam” this is such familiar word to us. Throughout the year some or the other exams are going on, be it for school students, engineering students or even later for bank and other such job exams. For any exam, most critical part is to set the exam question paper. When we set a question paper be it for student from any age group/criteria following points should be taken into consideration:
When we begin the process of setting paper, first make a note of who are going to take this exam and what outcome do we need from this paper. Are we testing knowledge, are we testing memorization ability or are we trying to test logical reasoning skills.
What type of questions do we want to set in the question paper,
c. Short Answers
d. Long answers
e. Objective Type questions
In this process also consider if university or Test Conducting Authority has pre-decided exam pattern for the exam you are setting the test paper for. If there are no specification as such, Decide the paper pattern first along with the marks weight-age for each type of question. For example: MCQs + Objective questions – 20 Marks, Short Answers – 40 Marks, Long Answer 20 Marks, Essay 20 marks.
Difficulty Level of Question Paper:
This is an important factor to consider while setting test paper. When we teach student, we have an idea of grasping power and IQ level of our students. But when we set an exam paper, we do not have any knowledge of who the test taker would be. Hence we have to think about all students. Some may be intelligent, some may be average and others may be weak at studies. Some students would be able to think through the questions and answer logically while other may answer what they know by rote learning.
- Syllabus Coverage
It is very important to cover complete syllabus in the question paper. Also at the same time we have to make sure the questions we put in the question paper are not out of syllabus. For most examination, including university as well as competitive exams, syllabus is pre-decided and question papers should stick to the syllabus only.
- Selection of Questions
When we choose your questions, we have to decide the number of question we want to select from revision or prelims tests, text books, reference books etc. Also we should make sure that the questions have not been there in last 2-3 past papers i.e previous year exams.
- Time taken solve a question paper completely.
We design the question paper but the students/test takers have to solve it. They would use their intelligence, writing skill, writing speed and ability to re-collect their knowledge to solve the question paper. They would need extra time to think and frame the answers to the questions. All these point have to be taken into consideration and then some extra time to re-check the answers should be given to the student/test takers.
This is how we should set an exam paper. Once the paper is set, go through the paper once again and see if we would be able to evaluate various skills like verbal ability, numerical skills, writing skills, knowledge, reasoning skills etc from the paper we have set. Do we achieve the goals for which we are conducting this exam? If yes then we are done with paper setting. But the task shall repeat again and again. So teachers, be ready!!
Do you spend a lot of time setting paper, formatting them and correcting them? Are you looking to save your time and resources you spend on setting paper or conducting exams?