How To Set Exam Paper?

Exam” is such a familiar word to us. Throughout the year, some of the other exams are going on, be it for school students, engineering students, or even later for bank and other such job exams. For any exam, the most critical part is to set the exam question paper. When we set a question paper, be it for students from any age group or criteria, the following points should be taken into consideration:

     When we begin the process of setting the paper, first make a note of who is going to take this exam and what outcome we need from this paper. Are we testing knowledge, are we testing memorization ability, or are we trying to test logical reasoning skills?

What types of questions do we want to set in the question paper,

a.      MCQs

b.     Essay

c.      Short Answers

d.      Long answers

e.      Objective Type questions

In this process, also consider if the university or test conducting authority has a pre-decided exam pattern for the exam you are setting the test paper for. If there are no specifications as such, decide the paper pattern first along with the mark weight-age for each type of question. For example, 20 marks for MCQs + Objective questions, 40 marks for short answers, 20 marks for long answers, and 20 marks for essays.

 Difficulty Level of Question Paper:

This is an important factor to consider while setting test papers. When we teach students, we have an idea of grasping the power and IQ level of our students. But when we set an exam paper, we do not have any knowledge of who the test taker would be. Hence we have to think about all students. Some may be intelligent, some may be average and others may be weak at studies. Some students would be able to think through the questions and answer logically while others may answer what they know by rote learning.

  •     Syllabus Coverage or Syllabus Planning

It is very important to cover the entire syllabus in the question paper. At the same time, we have to make sure the questions we put in the question paper are not out of the syllabus. For most examinations, including university as well as competitive exams, a syllabus is pre-decided and question papers should stick to the syllabus only.

  •       Selection of Questions

When we choose your questions, we have to decide the number of questions we want to select from revision or prelims tests, textbooks, reference books, etc. Also, we should make sure that the questions have not been there in the last 2-3 past papers, i.e., previous year’s exams.

  •      Time is taken to solve a question paper completely.

We design the question paper but the students/test takers have to solve it. They would use their intelligence, writing skills, writing speed, and ability to recollect their knowledge to solve the question paper. They would need extra time to think and frame the answers to the questions. All these points have to be taken into consideration, and then some extra time to re-check the answers should be given to the student/test-takers.

This is how we should set an exam paper. Once the paper is set, go through the paper once again and see if we will be able to evaluate various skills like verbal ability, numerical skills, writing skills, knowledge, reasoning skills, etc. from the paper we have set. Do we achieve the goals for which we are conducting this exam? If yes, then we are done with the paper setting. But the task will be repeated again and again. So teachers, be ready!!

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2 thoughts on “How To Set Exam Paper?

  1. As a teacher, this is the best information i read on internet.

    Setting up papers is quite tedious task sometimes and we have to take care all the things as per the academic and student perspective

    Loved reading the blog. Thanks

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