Indian test owners struggle to make exams relevant: new survey

NEW DELHI, INDIA, Feb. 8, 2016 – Professional exam providers in India are struggling to maintain the relevance of their exams, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by Pearson VUE in partnership with IMRB, surveyed senior managers from 100 exam-owning companies and institutions in the medical, legal, finance, IT and higher education sectors. Almost half (43 percent) reported challenges in developing new assessment content, and four in ten (38 percent) expressed difficulty in maintaining the relevancy of their assessment.

Divyalok Sharma, director of client development at computer-based testing company Pearson VUE, said: “Assessment content, or in other words the test questions, is the lifeblood of an exam. Focusing on that content is key to the success of an exam programme, along with finding ways to make exams more relevant not only in terms of legislation and up-to-date processes, but also making sure it is relevant to the professional role that person will eventually hold. It is equally important for test owners in India to review their current test development practices and standards and follow international best practices in testing.

“There are a number of inter-related factors and processes that can cause an exam to succeed or fail, including understanding of test objectives, robust test design, appropriate test format, good quality test questions and the statistical analysis of questions. These factors also contribute to the ultimate goal of creating a valid, fair and reliable test.”

The survey reveals the challenges of knowing whether an exam accurately measures relevant competency, with nearly four in ten test owners (38%) finding the restrictions of the exam format itself a challenge – which may in part have an impact on the ability to fulfil the test purpose.

The full report, “Improving Indian exam standards: Challenges facing test owners”, includes findings on:

  • Accurately measuring relevant competencies.
  • Concerns about candidate cheating and fraud.
  • The challenges of delivering a good candidate experience.
  • Potential solutions to achieve international best practice in test development.

Professional test owners are invited to attend a free, unique event – Revising Exam Standards: Improving measures of professional competency with more relevant and trusted exams – where the full survey report will be made available. Delegates will discuss the report, and learn ways to improve the quality of assessment. It takes place on Friday 4th March at The Theatre, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi from 9:30 am onwards. For details, visit the website to register.

Media contact

Damien Fletcher
+44 (0)20 7010 2582