The current stage of education development is characterized by the transition from uniformity and limitation to variability and a personality-oriented approach. In this regard, the issue of assessing the results of educational activities is of paramount importance. Developments related to performance assessment are one of the most critical areas of educational institutions’ development. Therefore, creating unified methods of assessing the quality of education is an urgent need, and testing is considered one of the promising options.
Benefits and Implications
The chief benefit of testing is that it is an objective way of evaluating, achieved by standardizing the course of conducting and checking the quality indicators of the tasks and the examination. Tests are comprehensive tools focused on measuring the level of learning, determining the mastering of crucial concepts and skills, and not merely stating the presence of a certain amount of knowledge. The humanistic nature of testing should be noted, consisting of the fact that students are given equal opportunities. Moreover, a better-differentiated grading scale allows learners to demonstrate their abilities on diverse materials (Ditchburn, 2012). Despite this, a lack of an individual approach can be considered the primary disadvantage of testing as it does not presume that students may be engaged in various programs and have different initial levels. It can be a limitation in the qualitative assessment of the knowledge; however, the proper development of questions can affect the quality of the evaluation.
Tests permit the teacher to vary the difficulty of the test material, the breadth of coverage, the targeting, and the inclusion of multiple knowledge structure components in the test. Such advantages make it possible to create a tool that considers distinct requirements of the educational management system, which directly influences pedagogical practice. The application of the method allows one to check the knowledge of a large amount of material in a short time. Furthermore, the test form will enable the removal of the human factor. The developed grading scale and transparent criteria for answers and evaluations give accurate results and make assessments transparent to all participants in the learning process (Ditchburn, 2012). Educators use the test to determine gaps without defining a reason. Therefore, the use of testing as the only assessment method can negatively affect the improvement of students’ knowledge. Failure to identify specific weaknesses can lead to a lack of understanding of areas that need improvement and make teaching more challenging.
Factors that Contribute to the Testing Usage
Testing is a fair method that puts all students on an equal footing, both in control and assessment. It can reveal a student’s knowledge of an entire course, eliminating the element of chance contributing to its usage (Ditchburn, 2012). The test is a more accurate tool because the grading scale has more divisions. Moreover, teachers use these assessments because they are more cost-effective. The testing costs fall on developing high-quality tools, and they have a one-time nature. Therefore, the price is much lower than for written or oral control. Moreover, rapidity is a significant reason that contributes to application because through testing, knowledge can be evaluated in the shortest possible time.
Testing and Mathematics
Recently, society has made particular demands on the system of mathematical knowledge. Furthermore, the issue of assessing the quality of mathematics learning is becoming increasingly relevant. Test control is a fast check of the quality of knowledge assimilation, immediate correction of mistakes, and filling gaps. It helps the educator review the level of formation of ideas and concepts of students to determine their progress in learning. The use of tests to prevent the knowledge of mathematics increases objectivity. It makes it possible to decide on the level of independent work, and evaluate the pace of activity, concentration, the degree of development of memory, attention, and attitude (Siemon et al., 2016). These indicators are essential for further learning of the subject and, therefore, testing is a qualitative way of assessment.
Ditchburn, G. M. (2012). The Australian Curriculum: finding the hidden narrative? Critical Studies in Education, 53(3), 347-360.
Siemon, D., Beswick, K., Brady, K., Clark, J., Faragher, R., & Warren, E. (2016). Teaching mathematics: Foundation to middle years. (2nd ed.) South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.