An aptitude test or examination is an assessment
Intended to measure a test-taker’s knowledge, skill, aptitude physical fitness, or classification in many other topics (e.g. beliefs). A test may be administered orally, on paper, on a computer, or in a confined area that requires a test taker to physically perform a set of skills. Tests vary in styles, rigor and requirements. For example, in a closed book test, a test taker is often required to rely upon memory to respond to specific items whereas in an open book test, a test taker may use one or more supplementary tools such as a reference book or calculator when responding to an item a test may be administered formally or informally. An example of an informal test would be a reading administered by a parent to a child. An example of a formal test would be a final examination administered by a teacher in classroom or an intelligence quotient (IQ) test administered by a psychologist in a clinic. Formal testing often results in a grade or a test score. A test core may be interpreted with regards to a norm or criterion, or occasionally both. The norm may be established independently, or by statistical analysis of a large number of participants (Kaplan, 2009).
Ancient China was the first country in the world complemented a nationwide standardized test, which was called the imperial examination. The main purpose of this examination was the select for able candidates for specific government positions. The imperial examination was established by the Sui in 605 AD and was later abolished by the Oing Dynasty 1300 years later in 1905. England had adopted this examination system in 1806 to select specific candidates for positions in Her Majesty’s Civil Service. This examination system was later applied to education and it started to influence other parts of the world as it became a prominent standard (e.g regulations to prevent the markers from knowing the identity of candidates), of delivering standardized tests (Airasian, 1994).
According to Cangelosi (1990), a standardized test is any test that is administered and scored in a consistent manner to ensure legal defensibility. standardized tests are often used in educational professional certificate, psychology, the military, and many other field.
A non-standardized test is usually flexible in scope and format, variable in difficulty and significance. Since these tests are usually developed by individual’s instructors, the format and difficulty of these test may not be widely adopted or used by other instructor or institutions. A non-standardized test may be used to determine the proficiency level of students, to motivate students to study, and to provide feedback to students. In some instances, a teacher may develop non-standardized tests that resemble standardized tests in scope, format, and difficulty for the purpose of preparing their students for an upcoming standardized test. Finally, the frequency and setting by which non-standardized tests are administered are highly variable and are usually constrained by the duration of the class period. A class instructor for example administer a text on a weekly basis or just twice a semester. Depending on the policy of the instructor or institution, the duration of each test itself may last for only five minutes to an entire class period.
In contrasts to non-standardized tests, standardized tests are widely used, fixed in terms of scope, difficulty and format, and are usually significant in consequences. Standardized tests are usually held on fixed dates as determined by the test developer, educational institution, or governing body, which may or not be administered by the instructor, held within the classroom, or constrained by the classroom period. Any test with important consequences for the individual test taker is referred to as a high-stakes test.
A test may be developed and administered by an instructor, a clinician, a governing body, or a test provider. In some instances, the developer of the test may not be directly responsible for its administration. For example, Educational Testing Service (ETS), a nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization, develops standardized test such as the SAT but may not directly be involved in the administration or proctoring of these test. As with the development and administration of educational test, the format and level of difficulty of the tests themselves are highly variable and there is no general consensus or invariable standard for test formats and difficulty. Often, the format and difficulty of the test is dependent upon the educational philosophy of the instructor, subject mater, class size, policy of the educational institution, and requirements of accreditation or governing bodies. In general, tests developed and administered by individual instructors are non-standardized whereas tests developed by testing organizations are standardized (Cangelosi,1990).
Testing was first introduced as a policy mechanism in China 210 B.C. By the 18th century, written examination was introduced to supplement oral mode of testing, especially in Mathematics. Later in the same century, assessment of quantitative marks was introduced to reduce the bias of qualitative judgment about an examinee’s level of performance across the oral disputation and written portion of the examination. The development of the quantitative marks was the first examination. The development of the field of psychometrics as we know it today. The advent of the Psychological Testing Movements in the 19th century brought about the belief that testing could be used to assess the mental ability of the examines. In the first 10 years of the 20th century, the short-answer supply mode appeared and high 1914, Kelly invented the multiple choice item. This development was in response to studies which showed that marks assigned to essay questions were highly unreliable and partly in response to the growth of the scientific management movement’s application to education. The movement required that the growing number of children could be tested to measure a district’s efficiency.
In Nigeria today, it appears to be the case that various testing agencies are failing to consider the dilemma of validity and reliability in the assessment and measurement procedures especially at the secondary level of education. Quite often, validity is sacrificed for reliability and this (mistake) usually results in measures being only concerned with the precision of scores rather than the intellectual candidates’ scores, does not or in a very little form, tell us whether such candidates have the capacities to use wisely what knowledge they educational objectives especially in a pluralistic and diverse society as Nigeria. Common knowledge is not a robust aim of education. If confidence is more like contextual insight and good judgment than inert knowledge, then we need to address the challenges of public assessment, measurement and administrative procedures especially at the tertiary level of education.
It is worthy of note that assessment measures are sometimes quite misleading. Assessment results need be a true descriptive fact about an individual and it must be based on full understanding of individual past and present context in terms of economic, cultural and social background assessment measures should therefore, be thorough enough to put all information together wisely so that the tests are understood and helped meaningfully rather than test results being used merely for labeling.
The aim of this research work is to deign a system that will be efficient to accept data, process the data and retrieve data when needed or enquired and system whose maintenance will be easy and economical and to tackle the problem of manual administration of aptitude test in Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua being its case study. This new system will be able to conduct, collate and arrange candidates result with minimal error.
A research into the challenges of assessment, measurement and administrative procedure, especially at the tertiary level of education of Nigeria will enhance robust constructed understanding of test validity and reliability by keeping in mind that by performance, we mean to execute a task or process and to bring it to completion. The findings may give insight to our testing agencies that the candidates abilities to perform in public examination, should be based only on what we produce as individuals, using a repertoire of knowledge and skills that responsive to particular task.
Not only this, the findings may lead to reform necessary to improve upon common assessment measures in the education system. This may have advantage of giving teachers and testing agencies, clear models of acceptable outcomes and make them have positive attitude towards instruction and learning, in sum, positive change in attitudes may narrow down education gap, either real or imagine, in the national, racial, linguistic and cultural and gender spheres across the nation.
1.5 Organization of Study
The research project consist of five chapters, chapter one consists of the introduction, background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, organization of research, scope of the study and definition of terms as used in the research work.
Chapter three of the research methodology, existing system/ problems of the existing system, system design which is input and output designs and the program flowecharts, etc;
Chapter four consists of the system implementation and documentation, system design diagram, choice of programme language, analysis of modules and programming environment and implementation;
Chapter five consists of constraints of the study, summary, conclusion and recommendations of the research work.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work is only concerned with the design and implementation of a computerized aptitude test administration system with case study of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua capable of accepting aptitude test related data, processing such data and retrieving it when needed.
1.7 Definition of Terms
The following constitute terms as used in the course of this research work.
Aptitude Test: This is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker’s knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics.
Administration: To oversee or organize the affairs of something, especially a business, organization, or institution.DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A COMPUTERIZED APTITUDE TEST ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM