Any student who scores high on a standardized test or in an entrance exam will be able to access the most promising educational opportunities. In order to make progress in a student’s educational journey, they must raise their test scores. Test preparation is offered for every level of test, including the popular ACT/SAT, the GRE, LSAT, and MCAT etc. However, test prep content often promises to increase scores, making it difficult to determine where to look and what factors to consider to get the best results. Read to find out all about content development for test prep.
What is Content Development for Test Prep?
The purpose of test preparation for exam preparation is to increase students’ performance on standardized tests by providing educational courses, tutoring services, educational materials, or learning tools. The design of tests is an important part of assessing students’ level of understanding and competency in applying what they have learned. A carefully designed test, whether it is low-stakes and frequent – a quiz – or high-stakes and infrequent – a midterm and a final – will increase the accuracy of results.
What to Consider in Developing Content for Test Prep?
Here are some key guidelines to help companies get started with the content development for test prep:
How to Develop Content for Test Prep?
- When are test prep exams appropriate?
- Whenever you are assessing students’ analytical, synthesizing, or evaluating skills
- If you have taught at this level (that is, college-level writing courses, undergraduate seminars, graduate courses), the content lends itself to critical analysis rather than simply recalling facts.
- What is the right way to design a test prep exam?
- Be specific.
- If you are expecting students to think critically, use terms that indicate your expectations; for instance, identify, compare, and critique.
- By using points (or time limits), estimate how much time and detail students ought to devote to each question.
- Practice taking the test yourself or have a colleague review the questions.
- What is the process of grading test prep exams?
- Determine the appropriate response to each question.
- Create a scoring guide that explains what you expect from each response and how much credit you will be giving each part.
- After reading through the responses to question 1, proceed to question 2, and so on. In this way, you will obtain a more comprehensive picture of how the class answered each question.
- What is the best way to help students succeed on test prep exams?
- Prepare study questions which ask students to think in the same way they will be tested.
- Explain how to approach a test prep exam using examples which you can use during the lecture or discussion.
- Include practice tests and sample questions.
- Demonstrate how to answer questions successfully.
Whatever type of test you use, you can evaluate its effectiveness by considering some of these questions:
- Are you testing for what you thought you were testing for?
In the event that you would like to find out whether students can apply concepts to new situations, but ask questions primarily to determine whether they can label parts or define terms, you would test recall rather than application.
- Are you testing everything that was being taught?
In some cases, your question may have served as a test of the students’ understanding of surface properties or procedures, when you had typically been lecturing on causation or relationships-not necessarily what the names of the bones of the foot are, but how they work together when we walk.
- Is everything emphasized in the course covered in the test prep?
Don’t forget to ask most of the questions about the material that you feel is the most important, particularly if they were emphasized in the course. It is best to avoid questions that are weighed the same as questions on crucial material.
- Was the material tested truly what students were supposed to know?
It might be better to use true-false and multiple-choice questions requiring inference rather than true-false questions requiring a non-inferential recall, particularly if you want students to use analytical skills such as recognizing patterns or drawing inferences.
As a result of this information, you may be able to identify areas in which students require additional focus. In addition, you may be able to evaluate the test itself: Are the questions framed clearly? Are the questions of an appropriate level of difficulty? For example, if scores are uniformly high, it is likely that you are doing everything right or have an unusually successful class.