Reliability, Practicality, and Validity Level of the entrance exam
Examining reliability, validity, and practicality are the three technical characteristics of an entrance test which demonstrate the usefulness and quality of the test (Mohajan, 2017). These features assess and evaluate the suitability of the entrance exam. An entrance test is said to be good when the measure of the test is reliable or consistent, which means that if the test were to be taken again, the results of the test would come as similar score; the test should evaluate what it wants to assess according to the need of the question, for instance, testing mental ability only assess mental ability test and nothing else; the test must be relevant to the specified job, which means that the test assesses the characteristics which are significant for the job; and by utilizing the test, better decisions can be produced for effective employment of individuals, an example of this is that arithmetic test is employed to assist in choosing skilled staffs for a particular job that needs the better knowledge and understanding of operations in arithmetic.
Reliability of Test
Reliability of a test is referred to the characteristics of evaluation of the test to measure the dependability and consistency of the test (Bolarinwa, 2015). To check the consistency of a test, the test should be taken again and check if the results are similar or not. Identical results show the reliable characteristics of the test. Some of the possible causes of not getting identical results of tests taken every time are –
- The psychological state of mind of the test taker – One of the reasons for not getting identical results is the temporary physical or psychological state of mind of the test taker at the moment, which directly influences the test performance. One instance is the score of a test of an individual varies if he appears for the test at different levels of motivation, fatigue or anxiety every time.
- Test form – Most entrance tests have numerous forms or versions. And the items on each version differ, yet each version of the test is utilized to assess a similar thing. Various versions included in a test are referred to as alternate forms or versions, designed to be the same as the measurement’s characteristics while containing various items. The scores on one version can be better than the others as the versions are also not identical.
- Environmental factors – The performance of the test of an individual can be influenced by testing differences in the environment, noise, room temperature or lighting or the controller of the test.
- Multiple raters – Sometimes, the test results are evaluated by the rater’s judgement on the responses or the test taker’s performance. The different levels of experience, reference framing and training of the test taker can produce differences in the test scores.
Discussed above are the factors responsible for measuring errors in the assessment process. If the result of the test score is identical each time, then there is no chance of errors in the measurement process. The extent to which the test scores are not affected by the measurement errors indicates the reliability of an entrance test.
Techniques used for assessing the reliability test show consistent, dependable and repeatable information regarding individuals. And to interpret the test results and make useful decisions regarding career, one needs to utilize reliable techniques, which eventually brings the assessment principle.
Each reliability estimate is affected by the various sources of error of measurement. Reporting the estimates of the reliability test, which is an important task for a test’s relevancy, is the test developer’s duty. And before selecting a test for use, it is important to have a look at the test manual and to go through the independent reviews, which help in finding the acceptability of the reliability test. 4 types of estimates of reliability test are discussed below –
- Test-retest reliability – It is determined by repeating the results of the test with the point of time. It also determines the consistency of the construct of the form, which is evaluated by the test (Grgic et al., 2020). Certain characteristics of the test are more consistent than others. For instance, an individual’s reading ability is consistently compared to the same individual’s anxiety level for a specified time. Thus, the test-retest reliability coefficient of a reading ability test is expected to be greater than the anxiety level measures.
- Alternate version reliability – It determines the consistency of the test results if an individual includes more than one version of the test (Baithge et al., 2019). A greater parallel version of the reliability test coefficient demonstrates various versions of the test which are almost identical. This means there is no difference in taking the different test versions. A lower parallel version of the reliability coefficient advocates that the various versions are not close or similar as they may evaluate various things and, thus, cannot be utilized conversely.
- Internal consistency reliability – It explains the degree to which the test measurement of an item is evaluated to be the same result. The greater internal stability of the reliability coefficients determines the test items to be identical. The test length also impacts the reliability of internal stability (Baithge et al., 2019).
- Inter-rater reliability – It determines the consistency of the test results, which is evaluated by more than two raters. Raters have to assess the responses to particular questions and, thus, determine the result. Variances in raters` judgements advise differences in test scores (Baithge et al., 2019). The reliability coefficient of greater inter-rater shows the procedure of judgement to be consistent and the result to be reliable. These are lower as compared to other reliability estimators. If raters are provided with appropriate training, greater inter-rater reliability is possible.
Validity of Test
The validity of a test explains the characteristic of the measurement of the test and the extent of the characteristic. It is another significant problem in choosing a test. It entails the characteristics of the test if it is related to the requirements and qualifications of the job (Almanasreh et al., 2019). It also helps understand the meaning of the result evaluated by the test. Evidence of validity demonstrates the connection between the job and the performance of the test. It also assists in predicting or concluding an individual’s result by looking at their test result. Individuals who score high perform well compared to those who score low, so it also helps me to find a valid predictor depending on the performance of the job. It also explains the extent to which certain specific predictions or conclusions can be made regarding individuals depending on their results. Specifically, it shows the test’s usefulness. Test validity tells if the test in a specific condition is good, while reliability indicates the trustworthiness of a test score. The conclusion for a test can only be valid if the test-taker is sure about the reliability of the test. It is only always important sometimes for a test to be valid, even if it is reliable. The test-taker must be careful while selecting the test by checking the reliability and validity according to the condition. The validity of a test is developed by referring to particular groups. And the groups formed are known as reference groups, and it is not necessary for the measurement of the tests to be valid for different reference groups. For instance, a measurement of the test is designed to determine the manager`s performance in conditions which requires the ability to problem-solving and might not permit the test-taker to predict meaningful and valid responses regarding the employees` performance. Considering another example, two different techniques of problem-solving ability are needed for two positions that are different, or the extent of reading of the test may also not be acceptable for applicants, then the scores of the test are valid for the managers, but it may not be valid for employees.
Procedures for conducting validation studies
Three methods are significant in conducting the validation of a test. Each validation study needs to be in appropriate conditions, for which guidelines are discussed below.
- Content validity – It needs an affirmation regarding the test content, which explains the significant behaviours related to the job (Almanasreh et al., 2019). , the test items must be relevant and directly measured, as it is important for the qualifications and requirements of a job.
- Criterion validity – This type of validation method needs to confirm the relationship between the performance of the job and the test. , the performance of the individuals with good results is better than those with low scores. It is of 2 sub-types. A criterion obtained at a similar point in time is known as concurrent validation, whereas the criterion is obtained after some time, the test is taken, and then it is predictive validation.
- Construct validity – This type of validation needs to affirm that the entrance test that is being evaluated assesses the construct that it needs to assess (Clark and Watson, 2016). And, also this construct is considered significant for the job-performance to be successful.
Practicality of Test
The practicality of a test describes the easy method for designing, administering, scoring and interpreting the test results (Bodilsen et al., 2015). In other words, we can explain this by referring to the time, money and effort involved in taking a test. A test has to be practical, and it does not matter how much the test is reliable or valid. As it is relatively inexpensive, the delivery is less economical. The test layout must be understandable and easily followed. It also shows appropriate stability within a defined time frame and is easier to operate. The right process of evaluation is time-efficient as well as specified.
Features of Impractical test
- The impractical test that is taken is very costly in terms.
- These are very lengthy as well.
- Impractical tests also take long hours to determine the grade.
- These tests need examiners who can handle and manage and thus score.
This part explains the overall summary of an entrance test’s reliability, practicability and validity. These three are the important features of examining the usefulness and quality of a test. The quality of a test is said to be good only if all three characteristics of the test are obtained. Reliability of a test is referred to the characteristics of evaluation of the test to measure the dependability and consistency of the test. Reasons for not obtaining similar results depend on the temporary state of mind of the test-taker, test forms, environmental factors and multiple raters. And the 4 types of reliability estimates are test-retest reliability, alternate versions reliability, internal consistency reliability and inter-rater reliability. The validity of a test explains the characteristic of the measurement of the test and the extent of the characteristic. Three validation studies are discussed: construct validity, criterion validity and content validity. The practicality of a test describes the easy method for designing, administering, scoring and interpreting the test results. A test has to be practical, and it does not matter how much the test is reliable or valid.
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- Baethge, C., Goldbeck-Wood, S. and Mertens, S., 2019. SANRA—a scale for the quality assessment of narrative review articles. Research integrity and peer review, 4(1), pp.1-7.
- Bodilsen, A.C., Juul-Larsen, H.G., Petersen, J., Beyer, N., Andersen, O. and Bandholm, T., 2015. Feasibility and inter-rater reliability of physical performance measures in acutely admitted older medical patients. PLoS One, 10(2), p.e0118248.
- Bolarinwa, O.A., 2015. Principles and methods of validity and reliability testing of questionnaires used in social and health science researches. Nigerian postgraduate medical journal, 22(4), pp.195-201.
- Clark, L.A. and Watson, D., 2016. Constructing validity: Basic issues in objective scale development, 31(5), pp.136-196
- Grgic, J., Lazinica, B., Schoenfeld, B.J. and Pedisic, Z., 2020. Test–retest reliability of the one-repetition maximum (1RM) strength assessment: a systematic review. Sports Medicine-Open, 6(1), pp.1-16.
- Mohajan, H.K., 2017. Two criteria for good measurements in research: Validity and reliability. Annals of Spiru Haret University. Economic Series, 17(4), pp.59-82.
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