Guidelines for Item Writing In Psychological Test

The different type of items used in psychological, sociological and educational resources and some specific guidelines for writing effective items are particularized by the psychologist of the organization. Besides this specific guidelines item writer must also keep in view some general guidelines which are essential for writing good items. Psychometric test basically provides an insight about how able and stable the individual is, and how well they can fit for in the job, in your organization. Let’s have a brief look at those:

  • Clarity in writing test items is one of the main requirements for an item to be considered good.Items must not be written as ‘verbal puzzles’.They must be able to discriminate between those who are competent and those who are not.This is possible only when the items have been written in a simple and clear language.The items must not be a test of the examinee’s ability to understand the language.The item writer of the industry or the organizational psychologist appointment by the company should be very cautious particularly in writing the objective items because, each such item provides more or less an isolated bit of knowledge, and their the problem of clarity is more serious.If the objective item is a big one it will create difficulty in understanding and the validity of the item will be adversely affected.Vagueness in writing items maybe because of several reasons, such as poor thinking and incompetence of the item writer.
  • Psychometric test is very efficient in making predictive analysis. Non-functional words must not be included in the items as they tend to lower the validity of the item.Non-functional words refer to those words which make no contribution towards the appropriate and correct choice of the response by the examinees.Such words are often included by the item writer in an attempt to make the correct answer less obvious or to provide a good distractor.
  • The item writer must make sure that irrelevantaccuracies unintentionally incorporated in the items, are avoided.Suchirrelevant accuracies reflect poor critical ability to think on the part of the item writer.This may also lead the examinees to think that the statement is true. And by this even the potential examinees might confused themselves and scored much lower than they actually should. And it will be an eventual loss on the part of the organization to lose such a potent candidate.
  • Irrelevant cues must be avoided.These are sometimes provided in several forms such as clang association, length of the answer, verbal association, keeping a different foil among homogeneousfoils, giving the same order of the correct answer etc. In general, such clues tend to decrease the difficulty level of the item because they provide an easy route to the correct answer.

The common observation is that examinees who do not know the correct answer choose any of these irrelevantcues and answer onthat basis.The item writer must therefore take special care to avoid suchirrelevant cues. In this way the organization can restrict the loss of potent candidates.'