John Glenn School Corporation
Administrative Guidelines
 

2626 - PROCEDURE FOR ANALYZING TESTS

The following guidelines - AG 2626 and AG 2626A - will be useful in conducting an analysis of test sections and test items in order to determine the pre-requisite knowledge and skills the students must have in order to score well on a test or to properly complete a test item. The results of an analysis should assist staff in preparing intervention activities that focus on the particular weaknesses in knowledge or skill identified in the analysis.

This procedure is applicable to any standardized test to which staff has access to the test itself. In those cases where the staff is not allowed access to the test, an analysis can be done of the sample test items that are usually available from the State or the test-maker.

Teachers should also find this analysis procedure helpful in either analyzing items on teacher-made tests or in constructing test items to measure particular understandings or skills.

When working with this analysis procedure, refer to Form 2626 F1 - Analyzing a Test Section (Example) and Form 2626 F2 - Worksheet for Analyzing a Test Section.

ANALYZING A SECTION OF A TEST

Step One

Considering the title, if any, the instructions, and the kinds of items found in the samples and/or in the section, what particular areas of knowledge and/or skill is this section evaluating?

 A.What do the words in the section instructions really call upon the student to do?

 B.What area of competency do the samples and items in the section relate to?

The result of asking and answering this question should be a clear mental picture and, if required, written description of the particular aspect of the broad area (a test topic such as "Word Analysis" or "Mathematics Concepts and Applications" is being tested in the section.

Step Two

Why is it important for students to have the knowledge and skills being tested in this section?

 A.How will competence in this area affect the student's success in learning or in school?

 B.How will competence in this area affect the student's life outside of school?

The result of asking and answering this question should:

 A.determine the importance - or lack of importance - of the knowledge and skills being tested;

 B.suggest the priority for ensuring student development of such knowledge and skills in the curriculum;

 C.provide ideas that can be used to help motivate students in their learning.

Step Three

What specific kinds of knowledge do students need in order to be competent in this particular area?

 A.Identify each kind of knowledge?

 B.For each kind, where, when, and how in the current course of study is it taught, developed, and confirmed?

The result of asking and answering this question should be both a list of specific knowledge students need to be competent in this particular aspect of the broad area and a clear picture of current practices in teaching, developing, and confirming understandings. When analyzed after student performance has been evaluated, the result should also include a clear understanding of current practices to be continued and expanded on and current practices to be changed.

Step Four

What specific skills do students need in order to be competent in this particular area?

 A.Identify each type of skill.

 B.For each skill, when, where, and how in the current course of study is it taught, developed, and confirmed?

The result of asking and answering this question should be both a list of specific skills needed for competence and a clear picture of current practices in teaching, developing, and confirming these skills. When analyzed after student performance has been evaluated, the result should also include a clear understanding of current practices to be continued and expanded on and current practices to be changed.

If the analysis is done after student test performance has been evaluated and it has been discovered that:

 A.students did particularly well in this particular section - what is there about the when, where, and how taught that probably contributed to student success and should be applied elsewhere?

 B.students achieved below expectations on this section - what is there about the when, where, and how taught that probably contributed to poor student performance? What changes are indicated?