Analysis of item writing flaws (IWFs) evident in objective formats examination questions in federal college of education (technical) Asaba, Nigeria


Peter Olorunmowaju Ajayi
Vivian Ozofu Idusogie


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to ascertain IWFs contained in objective formats examination questions for assessment of students in the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) programme in 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and first semester 2018/2019 academic sessions.

Methodology: Descriptive cross-sectional design was adopted which enabled the researchers to estimate prevalence (number of cases) of IWFs associated with objective questions constructed for end-of-semester examinations. The researchers retrieved 57 objective question papers administered in end-of-semester examinations centrally conducted in the College within the period of three academic sessions (2016/2017, 2017/2018 and first semester 2018/2019). 19 common violations of item writing principles were selected from literature and used in assessing the quality of 57 objective questions. The study classified test items in each of the 57 objective question papers into standard and flawed categories such that if an item is flawed, the exact type of flaw(s) (including options) was recorded.

Results: The results showed that short answer, multiple choice and alternate response questions are the types of objective test formats constructed by lecturers; there was a high rate of violation of standard item writing rules in most objective semester examination questions constructed by lecturers; and the nature of the four most frequently violated IWFs were related to irrelevant difficulty which tended to make questions or tasks more difficult than intended.

Recommendations/Classroom Implications: College management should organize seminar or workshop at regular interval to train or update lecturers’ knowledge on test construction skills and tips.


How to Cite
Ajayi, P. O., & Idusogie, V. O. . (2021). Analysis of item writing flaws (IWFs) evident in objective formats examination questions in federal college of education (technical) Asaba, Nigeria. Journal of Educational Research in Developing Areas, 1(3), 181-191.


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