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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Need your help, dear teachers!    

Need your help, dear teachers!


Need your help, dear teachers!
Dear teachers! I am doing my research paper and need your help! Could you, please, answer the following question? Reliability is one of the most important characteristics of the tests. It tells us about consistency of test scores from one measurement to another. When designing and conducting your own test, what ways do you usually follow in order to make your test more reliable? (E.g. writing clear stated items, providing detailed scoring key, and etc.) Thank you!

10 Mar 2009      


1.    I prepare two versions of the test to prevent copying.
2.    I make sure the instructions are very clear.
3.    I make sure that the marking scheme is clear.  5 questions = (5x3=15%)
4.    For open questions -  I write  for example :
                   "The topic"     -  Write 40 words   
           (20% = 10% content + 10% spelling, grammar, sentence structure and punctuation )
Hope this is what you wanted.

10 Mar 2009     


Thank you!

10 Mar 2009     


But I need more answers! Help me! Please!

10 Mar 2009     


Hi Alie

My institution teaches English to international students wishing to undertake post-secondary vocational training. They are scored against the ISLPR (International Second Language Proficiency Rating)

Our tests are for all the students - they all sit the same tests at the same time.  Tests are criterion-referenced and come with a detailed marking guide to ensure inter-rater reliability. They also go through a validation process by a qualified assessor to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Australian Nationally Recognised Training principles (AQTF).   After the test teachers meet to moderate the test this is also an AQTF requirement.


All tests come with both teacher and student instructions (only in English) which also include information on scoring.  The scoring is clearly mapped out and students know the ISLPR scale


Our teachers come from different backgrounds and are not all native speakers.  Educational qualifications and years of TESOL experience vary.  This does impact on interpretation and to ensure consistency in marking we cross-mark a selection of each others papers to ensure reliability.  This is also catered for during moderations sessions where we are all given a sample of a paper undertaken by a low performer, medium performer and high performer and we all individually mark those papers using the scoring guide (without knowing the original score) and then we compare our results.


I did a unit on assessment for my post graduate TESOL qualification.  If you would like some references for your research paper please PM me.






10 Mar 2009     

United Kingdom

Alichka, you need to swot up on some theory and these links provide you just that. Hope links are useful.

10 Mar 2009     


Thanks for valuable information! This is great!

10 Mar 2009     

New Zealand

Hi alichka,

I only used standardised tests - and then only one or two a year.

I think testing is a waste of teacher and student learning time and should be outlawed. 


14 Mar 2009