Testing and Measurement
The following pages are about an exhibition that is in development. It is not shown in the museum.
Very few people like taking tests. The very word "test" or "exam" can evoke an ambivalent, sometimes even a negative, reaction. Nonetheless, it is hard to imagine a world without testing. Examinations of various kinds play a significant role in shaping our lives from early childhood onward. Taking tests and using test results help us to make important decisions for ourselves and others.
When we hear the word "test" or "exam" we think almost immediately of tests we took at school. But they are only one of the many kinds of tests that exist. The exhibition on testing and measurement will present the public with a real and tangible introduction to the various types and purposes of testing. It will also foster dialogue between measurement experts and the public, particularly with regard to the connection between testing and society.
This website is a good place to learn about the world of testing even before the exhibition opens. The exhibition is the first of its kind in the world and promises to be intriguing and enjoyable. The exhibition is an initiative of NITE (National Institute for Testing and Evaluation).
The visitors will become familiar with a host of topics and concepts and find answers to a number of questions:
What was the nature of Imperial examinations in China?
History of testing
Does one necessarily get the same score from two different raters? Is the test accurate?
How do we know that a test measures what it is intended to measure?
How are standardized tests constructed?
What is intelligence? Can I improve my intelligence score?
How does a polygraph work?
How do personality tests work?
Would a certain person make a good physician?
What is the impact of testing on society?
Testing and society
Is a test always equally fair to both genders?
Gender and assessment
How can one tell if a test is fair to members of all groups?
Fairness and bias
How is a test tailored to the ability of a specific examinee?
Can a computer assess writing skills?
How can we learn about a student's progress in class?
What is the effect of coaching on aptitude test scores?
Coaching to the test
"Who wants to be a millionaire” – good test or good entertainment?
To acquaint the public with the scientific field of testing and measurement
An important branch of science with a long history, testing and measurement is grounded in various theories and is regarded differently by different cultures. It has a unique methodology but a variety of applications. It is a growing field that has not yet been given much public exposure.
To create dialogue between the public and measurement experts
The typical public attitude toward testing is negative. The exhibition will encourage dialogue between measurement experts and the public, particularly with regard to the connection between testing and society.
To increase public awareness
An informed public will be able to demand that tests meet the highest standards. This will benefit the public, since proving the quality of measurement will make it possible to draw more reliable and accurate conclusions from the test results. Familiarity with the field will also reduce test anxiety, make test-taking easier and improving test performance.
The exhibition is intended for school students aged 10 and older, visiting the museum with their class or families, as well as for young adults, and adults. This broad age span ensures that families – the museum's most frequent visitors – will also be attracted to the exhibitions.
Specific topics and activities will be designed for different age groups. Of relevance for youths and young adults, are the exhibits dealing not only with formal "school" tests, but also with driving tests, job-screening tests and popular tests.
In some exhibits visitors will be able to compare scores with friends; in others, they will learn new things about themselves; those interested in higher education admissions and screening tests will be provided with a wealth of relevant information: What are the aims of the exam? How are items developed? What is the meaning of the score? How can performance be improved?
The group activities for students, one of the exhibition's attractions, are geared to encouraging repeat visits to the museum by groups of friends.