A. Meaning of Objective Test:
An objective test item is defined as one for which the scoring rules are so exhaustive and specific that they do not allow scorers to make subjective inferences or judgements; thereby, any scorer that marks an item following the rules will assign the same test score.
Several types of questions are asked in them. These questions are generally classified into two
types—Recall type questions and Recognition type questions. Recall type questions have two types—
Simple recall type and Sentence completion questions. Recognition type questions have serveral
forms in which are included Classified questions, True/False questions, Multiple choice type questions, Matching type questions, Multiple choice and completion questions, and Analogy questions.
B. Advantages of Objective Test:
The objective tests have all the qualities of a good test, though all the abilities of the students cannot
be measured by them.
1. Validity : Objective tests are generally made to measure the knowledge of the students. First,
the questions asked pertain to the field, the knowledge of which has to be measured. Second, the number of questions is generally large which is spread out on the entire range of knowledge. Third, the evaluation of these questions is objective. So these tests are valid.
2. Reliability : These tests are reliable. All the questions contained in them are clear and bear only one meaning, and their answers too are definite. These are very comprehensive, and the measurement done by them is also objective. It is natural for them to be reliable.
3. Objectivity : As has been clarified above, the questions asked in these tests are clear and have a single meaning, their answers are also definite and the evaluator has not any liberty to mark them. Whoever the evaluator may be, the result of such tests is similar. It is evident that these,
tests are objective and therefore reliable.
4. Comprehensiveness : As has been stated in the beginning, small questions are asked in these
tests and the answers to these questions are given in one mark, number or word. From the
viewpoint of availability of time, the time to be taken on to write one essay type answer or 4-6 short-answer-type answers can suffice to think and write the answers of 40-50 objective
questions. Thus, these tests are comprehensive in nature.
5. Discriminative : The questions in these tests are spread out on the whole course and are of several types. Some questions have to be answered using recall, some have to be answered by knowledge, and some questions have to be answered using logic and prudence, so the
classification of the students done on their basis can be reliable.
6. Practicability : Making objective test questions is a difficult task. It takes time to construct so
many questions (often 100-100, 200-200). Marking them too takes time. So now in order to save
effort, only multiple choice questions are constructed and their answers are marked on an answer-sheet which can be evaluated by computer. Thus, the construction, administration and
evaluation of these tests have become practicable.
C. Limitations of Objective Test:
Despite having all the merits of a good test, these tests are not devoid of some shortcomings.
1. Measurement of Cognitive Aspect Only : These tests basically help to measure the cognitive aspect of the students; these are unsuitable for the measurement of the conative and affective aspects.
2. Measurement of Memory Power Only: These tests generally examine the power of memory, the students have to hardly use the higher mental faculties such as logic and thinking.
3. No Measurement of Language skill and Expression Power : These tests do not help in the measurement of language skill and power of expression of the students, so we cannot rely on them for language tests. It is considered to be the biggest demerit of these tests.
4. Difficulty in Construction of Questions : According to some scholars, it is very difficult to
construct the objective questions for these tests. They consider it a demerit of these tests. We are, however, of the view that these questions can be constructed easily by taking a little
interest and care. It depends on interest and practice.
5. Administrative Difficulty : Some scholars are of the view that these tests cannot be administered
easily; according to them, these tests are expensive and present difficulties in evaluation. However, our experience is that these tests are less expensive than the essay-type tests and their evaluation can also be done easily. We have already written that these tests can be evaluated
with the help of computer.
6. Fluke Answers : Some people opine that these tests can be answered in a fluke. It is true, but we have already invented a statistical method to control it, which is called negative marking.
7. Use of Unfair Means : It is often heard that the students can easily copy in these tests. In our view, this demerit has occurred due to inexperienced people. The fact is that if a student copy from a book or notebook, he cannot answer all questions in the prescribed time. Of course, the students can easily copy if someone prepares the answer-sheet for him. But it is not a demerit
of the test, but that of the administrators of the test.