• MNEA Works for You Missouri NEA membership means benefits that help you provide the best possible education for the students in your school. Backed by the resources of the more than 3 million-member NEA, MNEA members enjoy a wide range of benefits that no other organization can match. Find Out More >

  • Apply for Cat Tracks Tour MNEA president and vice president are looking for "place to go" during the MNEA Cat Tracks Tour, which celebrates NEA's Read Across America. Apply for a stop on the Cat Tracks Tour by completing an online application by Jan. 5. Find Out More >

  • Law Day Essay Contest Contest asks students, grades 4-12, the importance of Miranda Rights. Help your students polish their writing skills with the Missouri NEA/Missouri Bar Law Day Essay Contest for a chance to win up to $300. Entries due Jan. 15. Find Out More >

  • Read to Achieve Contest If your school is within the KCTV5 viewing area (greater Kansas City), teachers at your school are eligible for a chance to win $1,000 and a visit from news anchor Alexis Del Cid. The Read to Achieve contest is co-sponsored by Missouri NEA and Kansas NEA. Find Out More >

Teacher-made tests

Posted Date: 1/6/2011

Teacher-made tests


Even though parents and the media value published test scores, most teachers do not rely on standardized tests to tell them what their students know and don’t know. Standardized tests occur so infrequently that one aggregate score is not very helpful in determining future instructional goals. Teacher-made tests, however, allow teachers to make decisions that keep instruction moving. Teachers can make changes immediately to meet the needs of their students.

The key to teacher-made tests is to make them a part of instruction—not separate from it. Tests should be instructional and ongoing. Rather than being “after-the-fact” to find out what students did not learn, they should be more “before-the-fact” to target essential standards.

Teachers also need to make adjustments in their tests for the various learning styles, multiple intelligences and learning problems of the students in their classes. It would be impossible to address every student’s needs on every test, but efforts should be made to construct tests that motivate students to learn, provide choices and make allowances for individual differences.
How can we design better teacher-made tests?

Most teachers will not have time to rewrite all their tests to conform to the guidelines suggested below. However, it is important to make sure new tests are designed to meet student needs—and truly reflect learning.

Guidelines for teacher-made tests

1. Create the test before beginning the unit.
2. Make sure the test is correlated to course objectives or learning standards
and benchmarks.
3. Give clear directions for each section of the test.
4. Arrange the questions from simple to complex.

5. Give point values for each section (e.g., true/false count for two points each).
6. Vary the question types (true/false, fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, essay, matching). Limit to 10 questions per type.
7. Group question types together.
8. Type or print clearly. (Leave space between questions to facilitate easy reading and writing.)
9. Make sure appropriate reading level is used.
10. Include a variety of visual, oral and kinesthetic tasks.
11. Make allowances for students with special needs.
12. Give students some choice in the questions they select (e.g., a choice of graphic organizers or essay questions).
13. Vary levels of questions (gathering, processing and application questions).
14. Provide a grading scale so students know what score constitutes a certain grade.
15. Give sufficient time for all students to finish.

Adapted from How to Assess Authentic Learning, 3rd Edition, by Kay Burke. ©1999 SkyLight Training and Publishing Inc. Reprinted by permission of Pearson SkyLight, www.skylightedu.com or (800) 348-4474.

Related Taxonomy


Be the first to leave a comment.
Please Login to post comments.
Add This
Decrease Text Size
Printer Friendly Version

California Casualty

Enter for a chance to win

Endorsed by MNEA since 1996, California Casualty offers discounted rates and unique coverage and services such as zero deductible for vandalism and collision to your vehicle if it occurs on or within 500 feet of school premises and ID Defense, free for policyholders! For a personal, no-obligation auto or home insurance quotation, please call 1- 877-411-3419 or go online for a rate quote and get entered in the drawing for a classroom grant.  

california casualty