university admissions

Reliability can be defined as the consistency of a test. This means that a test will produce same expected results when administered from time to time.  A test that has good reliability is likely to shows the same results for the same individual when it is repeated from time to time. It will show same results if the individual completes the test with different testers each and every time (Smith, 2005).  This is what is referred to as inter-rater reliability. This is important component of any test because a test isn’t of much use if the results look drastically different from the other each time the test is taken.

There are different ways that can be used to tests the reliability of a given test.  Of all these ways,  the most effect ways in the given situation would be to do a pilot testing of the test to be administered  where  some people come in a take the test two times, probable separated by few weeks  before administration of the test to the second group.  After the test has been administered, then it is important to look at the performance on the two times the test has been administered to look if results obtained form Time 1 correlates with those obtained from Time 2.  This will probable make more sense than evaluating the inter-rater reliability because an admission test is most likely to be made of multiple choices, which means that tester’s judgment would come out to be a great issues in this case.

Ensuring the reliability of the test would be very important because the test has to give consistent results now and then. University admission is pegged on individual student performance, which means that a reliable test would be most important to ensure the university admits students who meet the laid down qualification.  This implies that for such test, reliability would not be an issue to discuss but rather a mandatory requirement by University staff.

On the other hand, the validity of a test can defined in terms of usefulness of the tests.  It refers to whether the test actually tests what is meant to test.

In this case, the tester would probably want to know whether performance on the test will correlate with the past and future academic performance (Maher & Gottesman, 2005). This is not possible without ensuring that the test measures what it is supposed to measure and that is the academic performance of the student. This is a crucial component of the test because there is not need for designing a test in order to test something if the test does not actually tap into that skill.

There are different ways that can be used in testing the validity of a test.  To measure validity of the test, there must be a designed way to test the result of the test and benchmark them against the result of other tests that had been done before. This means that evaluation of validity of test would rest on the results of the test because usefulness of the results can be assess when they have been obtained.  The best way to test validity of the test would therefore be through comparing performance on the test to other measures of performance that can be accessed.  This could be known by looking whether the performance of the student in the test correlates with their high school grades assuming that the validity of high school test is not questionable.  If this is found questionable, then one can wait for a period of 4 to 8 months and then administer the test again where the main aim would be looking into whether the test performance correlates with performance during the first term or the first year in university. This means that the best way to test for the validity of the test would be through benchmarking the results against other results that had been obtained through a valid and reliable test (Westen & Rosenthal, 2005).  Ensuring the validity of the test is important because it would create confidence that the test would only give the university qualified students.

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