Multiple test modes for better exam preparation
by Amrudesh Santhanam
Is there just one purpose in all the tests we take? Of course not !!!
We firstly take tests to get a feel of how tough the questions are.
2. We then practice by taking a few easy questions. At this stage we want to know the answer to each question immediately and see if we got it right.
3. We then get more confident and try more difficult questions.
Oh Oh !!! That was tough... So, we know we have to go back and make sure we know the basics well.
4. So, we practice more and ensure we start getting say "10 questions right in a row" or more and very few mistakes.
5. Then, we need speed. So, we try a rapid fire. Try to solve easy question in less than 10 seconds or 1 minute or so based on how tough the questions are.
6. Meanwhile, we get assignments to do from our teacher and have to solve some assignment tests along with what we prepare as an assignment.
Now !!! We are ready for a real test or what we may call an Assessment.
Right???? We may then have to come back to adapt and prepare better as shown in the below image.
This is really why Edoola provides 4 primary modes (more to come soon!) of tests.
All of them differ a little from each. To be precise,
Rapid fire tests
Practice tests tell you the answer of each question immediately and whether you were right or wrong. And show you a solution too if the author of the question has added one. It is long.... and there are many of them so that you make sure you are confident of what you are trying to learn before moving onto something tougher. You either have a global time limit or a question limit (but a big number). You see one question behind the other and not all together. Lets take one step at a time !!!
Assignments are pretty much like real tests except that they do not have a strict time limit. We could take a day to do an assignment. We dont see after each question whether it is right or wrong. If the teacher has allowed, then we get to see the score at the end.
Rapid fire is pretty much like what we see in Bournvita Quiz... Each question has a time limit and very short, most likely about 10 seconds to 1 minute. Number of question is limited to just about 20 (at the most)
Assessments are the real tests. You have an overall time limit. You even have a minimum pass percentage. There are real marks to gain.
Now !!! Are we satisfied with this? Of course not!!! We have the all important 'Adaptive Test' coming up soon. Adaptive tests are really very powerful and very useful not only for assessments but also during learning. The advantage of adaptive tests primarily lies in the fact that it allows the student to focus on the level they need to clear. If there are questions ranging in levels from 1 to 5 (we dont recommend too many levels since we cant imagine much more), say termed as
, then there is no point trying too many easy questions if we are already able to solve tough questions with a descent reliability. Similarly, if we find even moderate questions tough, then we need to spend more time with easy or very easy questions. This is exactly what the 'adaptive test' allows.
What advantage does an adaptive test provide to teachers or even recruiters?
They dont have to build too many questions. Adaptive tests consistently use much lesser (may be just about half the number) questions to ascertain the level of a person more reliably than a non-adaptive test. It further reduces what is called as the 'item exposure' (as termed in the item response theory) which in simple terms means 'how many questions we show outside'. 'Items' in Item response theory refers to 'questions'. Further, this theory gives formulae that would estimate not only the level of a person (for eg: 3.56 on a scale of 1 to 5 which the questions also followed) but also a standard deviation (for eg: 0.12 on the same scale) so that we can say with 95.45% confidence that the person who took the test has an ability equivalent to 3.56 - 2*0.12 = 3.32 to 3.56 + 2*012 = 3.80.
Is that not nice to have? Edoola will soon bring you that facility too. And then, we can also gamify tests by giving credits, badges and track it on leaderboards and stuff so that learning and taking tests is not just routine boring stuff but gets much more engaging and meaningful...