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Test Directions - hdbk12050023
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Guide to Good Practices for the Design, Development, and Implementation of Examinations
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Oral Test Administration


DOE-HDBK-1205-97
When developing the instructions, keep them clear and concise. Make important points
stand out by using a different size type, placing the type in bold, or by underlining. Have an
independent review done of the directions to check for inconsistencies or potential
misunderstandings. Consider including sample items with the directions when introducing
difficult or unusual item formats. Clear directions will help maintain the reliability and validity
of the test. Appendix A provides an example of test directions.
Test Monitoring
Effective test monitoring will ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to understand
and answer the questions properly. It is important that the test results provide an accurate
indication of a trainee's performance.
Training procedures should provide definitive guidance for test monitoring. A clear policy on
academic honesty should be established at the beginning of any training program and
should be enforced throughout the program. The single best method is to observe trainees
carefully during testing. Some training department procedures require that each trainee sign
an affidavit, usually on the test cover sheet, stating the work is the individual's own. This
has some deterrent value; however, it should not be allowed to replace other useful
methods. These include spacing trainees during testing, using multiple test forms, and
revising the test for each session.
4.6 Oral Test Administration
When oral examinations (as opposed to oral questioning) are used, the test questions
should be developed prior to administration. The acceptable answers should be recorded in
advance along with the applicable references and bases for the questions. This is called
pre-scripting and is done to ensure the examination is relevant and valid and provides for
consistent tests. The trainee responses should be recorded for evaluation and
documentation. The basic procedures for oral examination development are not significantly
different from those applicable to written tests. However, the procedure for administering an
oral examination has certain key considerations that should be followed.
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