What is a test matrix?

What is a test matrix?

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.

Meaning of a test matrix

What is a test matrix? A test matrix is basically nothing more than a matrix for a test. A matrix represents a mold or casting. So a matrix for a test is like a map of 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.

Validity of a test

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.

Advantages of a test matrix

A test matrix offers several advantages. This applies to the exam, the candidate and the teacher or examination board. These are discussed below:

Advantages for the exam

A test matrix is the basis for every summative test. Not only do you connect the exam and its learning objectives, you also provide a diagrammatic representation of what you see reflected in the test. Especially if you want to test a lot of exam material, a test matrix is an excellent tool. Namely, you get to control the content of the exam with room for randomization of individual questions.

Advantages for the candidate

As a candidate, a test matrix gives you clear direction on what to learn. You have been given a direction beforehand as to what kind of material will return in the exam. This structure allows you to better prepare yourself, increasing the chances of a better grade.

Advantages for the teacher and the examination board

The properties of a test matrix provide structure and guidance. As a teacher or exam board, this allows you to better safeguard the exam. You will gain insight into key topics and customize the exam so that the learning objectives and subject matter are well covered.

Test matrix – contact

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 (test expert) colleagues will be happy to help you. Do you have other questions on digital assessment? Feel free to contact us or check out our knowledge base where you can find inspiration. We also have a monthly newsletter packed with inspiration about the subject of digital testing and examiation. And, of course, you can follow us on LinkedIn.

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