Investigating teachers’ practices of designing achievement tests in grade vii and viii science in public and private schools in Chitral

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Assessment plays a significant role in collecting and analysing evidence about students’ learning outcomes and using the collected evidences in making instructional decisions. In the context of Pakistan, the evidences about students’ learning are mostly collected through achievement tests, which serve as the main source of information for making decision about student achievement and progress. The literature indicates that designing a quality test is a complex, highly skilled and very important task. The current qualitative research aimed to explore science teachers’ practices of designing and using achievement tests in grade VII and VIII science. The participants for this study were science teachers from the mentioned grades purposively selected from two schools in district Chitral, Pakistan. Semi-structured interviews and document analysis were used as data collection strategies. The study highlights the limited knowledge of teachers about assessment, the complexities and issues in the assessment practices and the surface level implementation of assessment (in this case test design) in the school context. Moreover, the findings showed that assessment practices do not meet the standards of the National Curriculum (2006) which focuses on the balance of students' lower and higher cognitive abilities to be assessed. But the findings revealed the assessment practices (tests) to assess the lower cognitive abilities and factual knowledge of students’ learning. The teachers, neither design quality tests nor follow any explicit criteria to evaluate students' works, rather they follow the implicit criteria for designing and marking the tests. Therefore, the findings revealed serious issues related to assessment practices (achievement tests) that are mainly used to make decision about students’ performance and their promotion to the next levels. The findings suggest the need for serious considerations to be paid towards assessment of students’ learning in the school context. It is proposed that the school management should provide platforms for teachers to enhance their theoretical insights regarding assessment and practical skills in designing quality items for valid and fair assessment. The study also proposed the need for intensive teacher training on assessment literacy of teachers.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library