Introduction to Test Creation: About Tests and Test Forms

Before you can begin to create tests in Surpass, it is useful to understand the concept of ‘Test Forms’.  Before you move on to the next lesson, please read the information below.

What is a test form?

Test forms are alternative versions of the same test, each containing a different set of questions. A candidate would never usually know that they had been given a particular test form.

Surpass allows you a lot of flexibility in creating tests and test forms, and you can make the structure of your tests as simple, or as complex as you need. For example, you could create:

  • A test with one fixed test form (one specific set of questions for all candidates)
  • A test with one dynamic test form (randomly generate questions from a bank or pool of questions)
  • A test with multiple fixed test forms (multiple specific set of questions)

The diagram below shows some of the possible structures for your tests and test forms, but there are many other combinations that you could have!

Note: Multiple test forms can only be created in the Test Creation screens of Surpass, and cannot be created through the Test Wizard. For more information on the difference between the Test Creation screens and the Test Wizard, please take the ‘Simple and Complex Tests’ lesson.

Why have more than one test form?

There are two key advantages to having multiple fixed test forms for a test:

The first is that it can help to prevent cheating:

  • Candidates sitting next to each other may get different questions.
  • Candidates sitting the same test in different sessions (e.g. the next day) may get different questions.
  • If a version of a test is somehow compromised or found to be unsuitable, it can be retired and a different form used.

The second advantage is that it allows the same candidate to resit a test more than once, without getting the same set of questions. This is particularly good because you can set up the Surpass system so that candidates are not allowed to see the same test form more than once, therefore they will be automatically scheduled for a different test form when they resit the test.

Can I achieve this by having a single dynamic test?

These advantages can, alternatively, also be achieved by having one dynamic test, in which a different set of questions is automatically generated for each candidate.

However, some organisations find that dynamic test forms are unsuitable for tests that are very high-stakes, as it is more difficult to ensure comparability between the versions of the test that are seen by each candidate. For this reason, the ability to create multiple, fixed forms is often found very useful, particularly for summative examinations.

I know what I need to create, now how do I do it?

Once you’ve worked out what you need to create, you are ready to start creating tests. Your requirements might affect the method you use to create a test; view the other lessons in the Test Creation course to discover the options available to you, and the benefits of each option.

Back to Test Creation
Lesson tags: Test Creation, Test Forms, Test Wizard