For those who do not deal with exams on a daily basis, a test matrix is perhaps an unknown term. And yet it is an incredibly useful tool for (digital) tests. In this article you will read more about the meaning of a test matrix. You will also find out more about the advantages of it with regard to the exam, the candidate and the teacher or exam committee.
What is a test matrix? A test matrix is in fact no more than a template for a test. Sort of like a floor plan for the exam!
By casting the questions (items) of your test into a certain shape, you create an overview. You get a subdivision of the subjects to be tested and the accompanying exam questions.
You can increase the validity of a test by using a test matrix. With a high validity, the exam measures what it should measure. In this case you test the subject matter at the level that is required according to the learning objectives. These learning objectives (or attainment targets) clarify what a candidate must know in terms of knowledge, insight and skills. If you specify these components, a test matrix helps you to include them in the exam. Suppose you have three primary learning objectives in mind, this can help you structure and subdivide the questions.
A test matrix offers several advantages. This applies to the exam, the candidate and the teacher or examination board. These are discussed below:
A test matrix is the basis for every summative test. Not only do you link the exam and its learning objectives, you also provide a schematic representation of what you see reflected in the test. Especially if you want to test a lot of exam material, a test template is an excellent tool. It gives you control over the content of the exam with room for randomisation of individual questions.
As a candidate, a test matrix gives you a clear direction of what you need to learn. You are given direction in advance as to what kind of subject material will be covered in the exam. Thanks to this structure you can prepare yourself better, which increases the chance of a better mark.
The features of a test matrix provide structure and support. As an instructor or an exam committee you can better safeguard the exam. You gain insight into important topics and adjust the exam in such a way that the learning objectives and subject matter are properly addressed.
Remember that setting up a test matrix is always a creative process which requires thorough coordination with content experts and those involved. Would you like to know more about a test matrix? Our specialised colleagues will be happy to help you. Do you have any other questions regarding digital testing? Feel free to contact us. Would you like to know more about digital assessment? Then check out our knowledge center. You can follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date with developments in digital testing.