Union University
Union University Center for Faculty Development
Center for Faculty Development

Center Resources

Teaching & Advising > Grading & Assessment of Students

Designing Classroom Tests

Writing Essay Questions:

  1. Does the question measure an objective that would not be assessed more efficiently by another item format?
  2. Does each question relate to an instructional objective?
  3. Does the question establish a framework to guide the student to the expected answer?
  4. Are the questions challenging? Do they allow the student to demonstrate originality of thought and expression?
  5. Are the questions reasonable in terms of:
    1. difficulty?
    2. time allowed for response?
    3. complexity of task?
  6. Do all students answer the same questions?
  7. Are there a number of restricted response questions?
  8. Have you prepared a model answer for each question with all points assigned?

Writing Objective Test Items:

  1. Are instructional objectives clearly defined?
  2. Did you prepare and follow a test blue print?
  3. Are all items clear and well defined?
  4. Did you specify all necessary qualifications?
  5. Did you avoid giving clues to the correct answer?
  6. Did you test for important rather than trivial ideas?
  7. Did you adapt the test's level of difficulty to your students?
  8. Did you avoid direct quotes from the text?
  9. Are the items presented in a positive form?
  10. If negative items are used, did you call attention to this?
  11. Did you prepare a key? Does every item have only one correct answer?

Reprinted with permission from Teaching at UK (University of Kentucky Teaching and Learning Center), Fall, 1994

"Study is a specific kind of experience in which through careful observation of objective structures we cause thought processes to move in a certain way . . . When done with concentration, perception and repetition, ingrained habits of thought are formed."
-Richard Foster; Celebration of Discipline