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Test Specifications
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Guide to Good Practices for the Design, Development, and Implementation of Examinations
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Test Construction


DOE-HDBK-1205-97
Table 1 shows test specifications developed from a list of learning objectives. The
objective statements indicate the type and level of performance expected of the trainee.
The instructor should select the objectives that will be tested on a given exam and establish
the relative emphasis each learning objective receives.
Table 1. Test Specifications.
Objectives for
Testing Emphasis
Objectives to be
Training
(item weight %)
Included in Test
I.
Area A
1.
5
Yes
2.
10
Yes
3.
0
No
4.
5
Yes
II. Area B
1.
10
Yes
2.
0
No
3.
2
Yes
4.
0
No
III. Area C
1.
5
Yes
2.
10
Yes
3.
2
Yes
As Table 1 shows, Objective III.2 is given twice as much weight on the test as III.1 and five
times as much weight as III.3. These different weights are based on the objectives'
comparable importance to success in job performance and should reflect the relative time
spent on the objectives during the course of the training program. There are no
preestablished rules for determining the specific weight assigned to various cells of test
specifications. However, the objectives that represent task elements that are critical to the
successful accomplishment of the task must be tested and those test items can not be
missed. The test developer should obtain input from other trainers, from subject matter
experts (SMEs), and from facility operations management and supplement this with his/her
own prior experience. Trainees will expect the testing emphasis to be comparable to the
emphasis stressed during training, and this should be the case. Learning objectives can be
assigned greater emphasis by increasing the number of test questions for those objectives.
13


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