Features of the test of achievements as a psychodiagnostic...

Features of the test of achievements as a psychodiagnostic tool

Tests of achievement are usually contrasted with subjective methods of testing knowledge, such as oral and written interviews. It is emphasized that the tests ensure the objectivity of the test. For example, when checking spelling skills, the dictation will not give such objective information as the specially developed test will provide. Teachers dictate at different tempos, with different accentuation, and the same student who writes the dictation for the same orthograms, different teachers can make different mistakes. The instructions to the test give precise instructions on how the word is pronounced, when and in what class tests are carried out, how to dictate the sentence, how many times you can repeat the word, etc.

The objectivity of the tests of achievement is provided by the processing of test results. Assessments of the same written work by different teachers can vary considerably from one another. Among the factors influencing teachers in assessing written works, the following are usually singled out: the volume of written production, grammatical and spelling mistakes (even if only content is judged), handwriting, the sequence in which the work was assessed, the gender of the teacher and student, attitude towards the student. Test tasks are such that for their implementation it is sufficient to write a number, word, put a cross or emphasize the desired answer. Compiled in this way, supplied with keys and samples of typical answers, assignments practically exclude discrepancies in the processing of results. The test of achievement, like any other test, is inherent in the objective interpretation of the measurement results. When exposing grades, the teacher uses not the established standards of performance, but with his personal scale of quality assessment, often focusing on the level of academic achievement of the class, on a particular place of the academic discipline in the educational program. So, a mark for the same drawing of the same student by a school teacher with an aesthetic bias and a teacher of a general education school can be different. Tests of achievements are free from these shortcomings, of course, provided they are properly written and applied.

A significant difference between tests from traditional methods of attestation is that tests put all students in equal conditions, using a standard procedure and common evaluation criteria. At the same time, students with low academic status or low level of educational motivation acquire an additional chance to demonstrate their success rates.

A test, but compared to a control job or an oral response to a study topic, section, is a multidimensional tool that uses the interval rating scale. The test work or exam is usually evaluated on a five-point (in some countries ten-point) system. Anyone who has completely coped with the proposed tasks, performed them partially or did not perform at all, respectively, receive a particular mark. At the same time, the question remains to what extent the results obtained in the evaluation reflect the maximum possible levels of operating knowledge for each student. In testing, on the contrary, the range of the estimates is wide.

Typically, tests cover a significant amount of content, and students can demonstrate their achievements "on a wide material field".

With the traditional method of estimation, the mistake made leads to more serious consequences than the test, since the student can demonstrate success in other sections of the content and types of test tasks. In addition, the tests are effective from an economic point of view. The main costs are incurred at the development stage of the toolkit and with the increase in the number of tested.

Critical remarks about performance tests are being voiced. First of all, it is emphasized that during the test there is no personal contact between the teacher and the student. In addition, the testing procedure itself does not involve actualizing and developing the skills of oral speech and the ability to conduct a dialogue. Most teachers acknowledge that schoolchildren and students are hindered by testing and do not allow them to think creatively and spontaneously.

Essential restriction of tests as a form of control is the fact that complex forms of mental activity are difficult to formalize and that not all subject disciplines are amenable to algorithmization (literature and art).

Despite these shortcomings and limitations, the tests of achievements are used at all stages of educational and professional training. Analyzing the long-term experience of applying the tests of achievement in US educational practice, A. Anastasi emphasizes that the objectivity and uniformity of the evaluation procedure minimizes the impact of random factors in the evaluation, and the periodic application of well-constructed achievement tests facilitates the learning process.

You should not underestimate the role of tests in maintaining an acceptable level of motivation, which is achieved by timely informing students about the mistakes made in those or other sections of the course. Given the students' awareness of the objectivity of the evaluation tools offered to it, their results are perceived as fair. This contributes to the development of adequate self-esteem in students.

Achievement tests are designed to assess the success of mastering a specific, limited learning framework, for example, the section of mathematics "multiplication of two-digit numbers" or native language classification of suffixes and adjectives & quot ;. This they differ from the actual psychological tools, namely tests of abilities and tests of mental development. As noted earlier, performance tests of abilities reflect the cumulative impact of a diverse experience of the individual's life. Unlike tests of achievements, capacity tests measure learning outcomes in relatively uncontrolled and unknown conditions. So, for the formation of spatial abilities the influence of separate sections of the curriculum (for example, geometric transformations), although it can not be denied, but their assimilation is not the only factor determining the level of development of these abilities. Therefore, in the diagnosis of abilities it is difficult to find in the learning environment an unambiguous explanation of the high or low degree of their development in the subject.

Another difference between tests of abilities and achievements relates to their purpose. Ability tests are mainly aimed at identifying the prerequisites for certain activities and claim to predict the choice for the individual of the most suitable profession or profile of education. On the contrary, performance tests are used to assess the current or final results of the assimilation of certain disciplines or their sections. The main value in these tests is given to what a particular individual knows how to do at the moment. Such authoritative testers as A. Apastazi and L. Cronbach, acknowledge that between the tests of abilities and tests of achievements it is impossible to draw a rigid boundary. Some capacity tests are designed for very specific subject teaching, and some performance tests can encompass a relatively broad educational experience. Tests of achievement can to some extent predict the pace of progress of students in mastering one or another educational program. For example, objective tests of achievements that precede vocational training can serve as predictors for the success of professional training.

The tests of achievement are also different from the tests of mental development, which are aimed at diagnosing the skills to perform certain mental activities with concepts (even academic ones), such as analogy, classification, generalization, etc. This is reflected in the formulation of specific tasks of tests and another type.


Test of achievements in the United States language. Specify an example with an error in the formation of the word form: a) lay down (on the floor); b) their work; c) hot soups; d) six hundred students.

Mental development test (task using concepts from the United States language course).

Three words are suggested. Between the first and second words there is a certain connection. Between the third and one of the five words offered to choose, there is a similar, same connection. This word should be found and emphasized:

word: letter = sentence: ...

a) union; b) the phrase; c) the word; d) comma; e) Notebook.

In order to correctly answer the questions included in the test of achievements, it is necessary to know specific facts. In order to cope with the test of mental development, it is necessary to have a logical ability to work with concepts (in the example with the terms word and sentence ), analyze them, find significant signs, establish logical relationships, etc. The content of the tests of achievements is slightly different from the contents of the tests of mental development. Both seem to include what the students already knew, but the level of mental development is less dependent on the previous experience of mastering specific academic disciplines than the level of student achievement.

The specific features of the tests of achievements as a psychodiagnostic tool can not be considered outside the context of the definition of the construct that this test embodies. It should be borne in mind that in modern educational practice the following categories are used, denoting a modern understanding of achievements:

a) literacy as a stable property of the individual, associated with the development of basic knowledge and skills that allow us to master the elements of culture at the initial level;

b) education - the quality of the individual, which consists in the ability to independently solve problems in various fields of activity, relying on the learned social experience;

c) competence as a complex personality property, which determines its ability to solve problems and typical problems of real life situations using all the accumulated experience.

These definitions show that achievements in both the training and vocational fields are not limited solely to knowledge, skills, skills, but include changes in personal characteristics and in the structures of general educational skills of students.

In such a broad perspective, educational achievements are considered in connection with the development of a system of diagnostic tasks within the framework of the implementation of the federal state educational standards of the third generation. Accordingly, the subject & quot ;, meta-subjective and personal results & quot ;. Subjects are expressed in the students' assimilation of specific elements of social experience, studied within the framework of a separate academic subject. Metaproject can be represented as a set of achievements of students in the field of research, design and communication culture. Personal results of education represent a set of value relationships of students to themselves, their abilities, other participants in the educational process, the very educational process, studied and their own social experience.

In the testing of educational achievements, new trends have emerged, which are reflected in the corresponding concepts of test tasks.

The first tendency is to describe educational achievements in terms of complex types of intellectual activity: general scientific and general educational skills (working with information, conducting scientific observations and experiments). In their measurement, assignments of an interdisciplinary nature are applied.

The second trend manifested itself in the attention to the functional side of the knowledge and skills that are being generated. The main feature of the test tasks is the practical focus of the situations included in them (analysis of environmental and social problems, the solution of problems of planning and organization of vital activity of individuals and groups).

The third trend is connected with the transition to an authentic verification of achievements: the application of tasks with a freely constructed answer comes to the fore, and it is also intended to use multidimensional indicators of achievement (both subject and personal results).

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