Assessing skills in controlled conditions
A STANDARDISED test is designed to assess abilities, knowledge or skills under clearly specified and controlled conditions.
The tests were originally developed to address the shortcomings of other forms of assessment, like essay-type exams.
The tests rely heavily on multiple-choice or true-false questions and can be corrected by computer.
Some tests also have short answer or essay type questions.
The report from the Educational Research Centre on the possible use of such tests will go before the next meeting of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment on March 25.
The council is engaged in a major exercise reviewing the junior cycle of secondary schooling.
It published a discussion document last month and is planning a seminar and symposium on change, as well as consultation with the schools.
A draft framework for the junior cycle will be completed in December and is expected to include provision for standardised testing in schools as well as curricular reform.