A good test in history should have the following characteristics:
The test should be valid. It should fulfill the objectives for which it is meant. For this it should be free from defects that are likely to affect the valid results.
Any test can be considered reliable if it gives some results every time when it is used for testing the individual’s ability under same conditions. An objective test is bound to be reliable.
The reliability of a test is affected by the following factors, thus to be reliable it should be free from
(a) The whims of the examiner.
(b) The physical and mental condition of the student.
(c) The language of questions-lack of clearness or any ambiguities is statements.
(d) Lack of clear-cut instructions for marking.
(e) Inefficient method of scoring.
A reliable test is not influenced by subjective conditions, it is objective.
Any good test should be comprehensive, i.e., it should assess knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes etc., as adequately as possible. No aspect of the curriculum should be ignored while making evaluation.
It should be easy to administer, economical in time and money, easy to score and interpret. The direction of the test should be clear-cut. There should be answer keys for scoring.
5. Capable of Maintaining the Interest of the Student:
Any good test should be able to capture the interest of the students and maintain it. Thus it should be interesting for the students. A good test is motivating for the students and stimulates their best effects. It should be neither too easy nor too difficult. It should never be used as a
means of punishment.
A good test is diagnostic. The aim of diagnosis is to analyse the difficulties of a student in a particular phase of work. The aim is to reveal reliable information concerning his weaknesses so as to overcome them by concerted action and remedial teaching. In this way it would help the teacher to guide them properly and adopt remedial measures to eliminate their weak points.
A good test is useful in various ways. For example a test result may be used for improvement of teaching, may be useful to measure some desired quality/ability in the student, useful in finding out deficiencies in pupils so that the remedial measures may be taken up for their removal.