Why Paper and Pencil Test Should Still be Used

Posted on: January 16, 2011

One kind of assessment that I hate the most is performance test, especially role play or something that use our expression. In this test, I will get difficulties to prepare everything in my mind; prepare idea, prepare scenario, prepare logistic, and prepare how I act. That might be because I am getting difficulty in imagining something. It is also possible for me to have low score because of getting nervous and not confident of myself during performance. Understand the matter well or not, it will result the same that I could not express what’s in my mind through action.

I compare this experience with when I did written test –by open-ended and close ended question especially the questions that used HOTS approach. I don’t know why I have better score on written test even when I don’t really master the matter. I feel like I do the test not only by understanding but also by feeling. I do have nervous and stress before I do the test, but it is not more than before performance test. Beside that, mistakes from written test are last longer in my mind to be improved rather than mistakes from performance test.

What happened to me, correspond to what is warmly discussed in assessment as, for, and in learning. Many of class’ opinion said that paper and pencil test is not necessarily used in all subject of learning. Mostly said also that performance test shows students’ ability and mastering in a better way than paper and pencil test does. I somehow agree that performance test is good for students. However, I absolutely sure that paper and pencil also plays important thing in measuring students’ progress. I relate this issue to multiple intelligences concept.

I think, not all students are good in performance. They may good in paper and pencil test, may good in analyzing and presenting something, or good in moving their body to create a structured exercises of body. It doesn’t mean that students who are less in performance haven’t mastered the lesson. They might have problems in expressing something in front of audience, which is nervous and unconfident, but they can write structurally and logically what has been learnt.

In line with that, there are possibilities that students who are good in performance cannot show a better understanding of lesson. They might be able to perform something naturally. They might perform better because their friend assigned so and they have practices the performance repeatedly. They might also have miss-concept of lesson but performance covers their miss-conception.

Due to many reasons I have mentioned, paper and pencil test is not necessary to be deleted but it should use more HOTS questions. Beside that, totally use of performance test on assessment will damage teachers themselves to get a valid and reliable score that prove in which level of ability one student is. That is answering my question on why paper and pencil test should still be used in assessment for, as, and in learning.


4 Responses to "Why Paper and Pencil Test Should Still be Used"

I understand your feeling Ris, even tough i personally is a “performance-test lover”. Paper test only or performance test only is not recommended , but the combination between both of them is more recommended… don’t you agree? 🙂

Of course, I do agree. But, I see that it seems like performance test is more emphasized in every todays discussion..
Because of this, we should consider about not preferring to one of both assessment…

I think, I couldn’t say which one more better.. Both of them are appropriate in the particular time. Based on my experience for elementary until senior high school. I have gotten the paper an pencil only. I think it’s just for memorizing. However, I agree with you that paper and pencil test is not necessary to be deleted but it should use more HOTS questions and can be applied after that..:-)

so, the next task is how to train teacher to create questions using HOTS…:-)

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