Oral and Essay Type Test

According to Teacher Training Institute, tests and examinations have been used as major tools of evaluation. That’s why teacher’s evaluation based on tests made by him was accepted as the sole, measure of pupils’ ability and achievement. As these tests require paper and pencil (Pen) to be used by the examiner, so these tests are also called paper-pencil tests. The procedure for construct good test items. The teacher has only to fit a particular objective so as to make it useful to provide optimum teaching on the part of the teacher and minimum learning on the part of the pupils (learners).

Though the results of studies of reliability and validity of teacher made tests have posed a serious doubt in our educational institutions without any regard to other evaluative devices or techniques. Today’s evaluator uses a variety of techniques of appraisal such as achievement, aptitude, personality, rating scales, interviews questionnaires and observation etc.

The procedure of teacher made test in quite simple to that of standardized test and the teacher is the only expert to make the test. Items are prepared carefully to match the instructional objectives of a particular class. However it is used on a smaller sample and no reliability or validity is estimated in most of the cases.

(1) Oral Test : These tests can be used for testing individuals. If the pupil gives an incomplete answer, the same can be got completed by another question. Thus on the spot correction is possible. Oral testing in social sciences offers an opportunity to test the depth especially a student’s independent thinking. In the languages these tests are used to test reading, comprehension and expression. Through tactically manoeuvred questions, the testee can be made to exercise his own thinking and not operate on borrowed arguments alone. In addition to the day to day classroom testing, oral tests can be used at least twice a year for testing the promptness in knowledge of facts or express ideas coherently on a topic. This technique is quite valuable if questions are serially arranged to throw full light upon a particular unit of study.

Another well known procedure for an oral test is to get the question written on separate cards. The testee may draw out one or more of these cards from a pile. He can be given a few minutes for getting into proper mental set up followed by an answer and supplementary questioning. In addition, pupils can be required to participate in class debates and discussions and evaluated by a panel of judges on such occasions.

It is advisable to award a grade on a three or a five point scale rather than a numerical scale. If need be, it may be so converted afterwards.

These tests are mostly used in lower classes. But even in higher classes, oral test or examinations are used in languages, science subjects. The viva-voce as used in and post graduate classes is nothing but oral examination.

(2) Essay Type Tests : Essay type tests demand long answers, have remained the most popular for written test of pupil’s achievement. It allows relative freedom of response to the given problem.

It requires the students to recall rather than recognise information organize and express his ideas clearly and consciously.

Students are expected to write essay on some topics in these types of tests. For example:

(a) A visit to a fair

(b) A scene at the railway station. (in language)

(c) Discuss the religious policy of Akbar (Social Sciences) etc.

According to Montessori Training, the most important advantage of essay type tests is that it can test the capacity of the pupils to organise the subject matter, summarization of ideas, to interpret data, the power of description and the power of creative and critical thinking.