Quality of teacher-made tests in secondary schools in Kenya
Onacha, Alice K
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The overriding purpose was to investigate the quality of teacher-made tests in secondary schools in Kenya. The study made particular reference to the application of Bloom's Taxonomy of cognitive abilities in analyzing the tests. The study was based on the assumption that the tests developed by the teachers were mainly testing low level skills, that is remembering, understanding and applying as opposed to analyzing, evaluating and creating. The aim was to compare the skills teachers had in the various disciplines that enabled them to develop these tests. The schools were categorized into three levels namely: low achieving schools, middle achieving schools and high achieving schools. Various tests in English, Mathematics, Biology, and History and Government were obtained from each school. They were then rated according to Bloom's cognitive taxonomic skills which included: creating, evaluating, analyzing, applying, understanding and remembering. These cognitive skills were ranked from the highest to the lowest level. They were then divided into two cognitive categories; Creating, evaluating and analyzing were grouped as high cognitive abilities while applying, understanding and remembering were grouped as low cognitive skills. To determine the internal mental processes tested at the skills level and if they were demonstrated across the multiple dimensional aspects across the cognitive abilities of knowledge such as factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive the same procedure as above was applied. The study has demonstrated that the tests developed and administered are of low quality. They are mainly testing the mental process which covers the factual, conceptual and procedural levels and very few reach the metacognitive knowledge levels. This tends to impact negatively on the higher levels of learning since the students are not exposed to cognitive operations that require this kind of knowledge acquisition.