A. Advantages of Short Answer Type Test:
The short-answer-type tests are considered better than essay type tests ways. These have the following
1. Possible to Set Questions on the Whole Curriculum : Short answer type questions are very short in comparison to essay type questions. The time taken to answer one essay type questions can suffice to answer 4-6 short answer type and 8-10 very short answer type questions. Thus,
questions can be asked on the whole course.
2. More Valid than Essay Type Tests : Tests are generally used to measure change in the cognitive, affective and conative aspects. Though short answer type tests can measure only cognitive aspects, yet they so extensive that these are more valid than essay type tests.
3. More Reliable than Essay Type Tests : The answers to short answer type questions are generally
definite, as such their measurement is objective and it is generally the case. It is evident that these tests are more reliable in comparison to essay type tests.
4. More Objective than Essay Type Tests : Although caution may be exercised in the construction
of essay type questions and evaluation of answers, but they remain subjective to a great
extent. However, the answers to the short answer type questions are generally definite, so their evaluation too is often objective; at least much more as compared with essay type tests.
5. More Comprehensive than Essay Type Tests : In short answer type tests questions can be framed on almost the whole curriculum, so these tests are more comprehensive than essay-
type tests, and accordingly more valid and reliable.
6. More Discriminatory than Essay type Tests : More number of questions can be asked in these tests, almost on the whole curriculum, so the students have to memories and understand the
whole curriculum. The more a student is able to understand, the more is he able, to score and
higher is his rank. Thus, the examinees can be classified on the basis of these tests.
7. Simple Administration : These tests are administered just like essay type tests. The personnel who administer the essay type tests can also administer them.
B. Disadvantages of Short Answer Type Test:
These tests are constructed in order to do away the demerits of essay type tests, and they have succeeded in some measure, but they do not-possess the qualities of the essay type tests. The non-possession of these qualities is the shortcoming of these tests. These tests have the following demerits or shortcomings :
1. Inability to Measure Skill and Attitude : The short answer type tests often provide complete facts but not skill and attitude. Moreover, the students are not fully free to answer the questions, so their attitudes cannot be measured.
2. Inability to Measure Linguistic Skill and Power of Expression : The answers to the short answer type questions have to be given briefly, so the students’ linguistic style and power of expression cannot be measured by these tests as proficiently as can be done by essay type tests.
3. Inability to Measure Higher Mental Faculties such as Logic : Short answer type questions are often factual in nature. In answering them, the students have to present neither reasoning nor examples in favour of their opinion, so the faculties of logic and decision etc. cannot be
measured by them.
4. Inability to Measure Insight and Foresight : How far the insight and foresight of the students have been developed in a particular field can be measured by critical and problematic questions and it is not possible to ask such questions in short answer type tests, in which the students have to comprehensively think about a problem and suggest of their own. Then how can the insight and foresight of the students be measured by them.
5. Less Helpful to Measure Personality : First, hardly any questions related to students’ interest
and attitude are asked in such tests; secondly, the answers to these questions are generally
definite and the students have no freedom to answer them in their own. So, the personality of the students cannot be measured by them.
6. Emphasis on Rote Learning : In short answer type tests, emphasis is often laid on facts by which knowledge is chiefly tested. So, the students are inclined to learn by rote.
7. Neither fully Valid, nor Reliable, nor Objective : It is true that the questions on almost the whole course may be asked in short answer type tests and it is also true that their evaluation is more objective than the essay type questions, but not fully objective. Evidently, these tests
are neither fully valid nor reliable nor objective.