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In this article, we’ll explore question banks and look at why they play a pivotal role in raising your exam standards.

Over the years, you’ve probably built up a bank of hundreds, even thousands of questions that you return to whenever you create a new exam. A question bank allows you to keeps all these exam questions in one accessible location. BUT don’t be mistaken – it’s so much more than just a repository.

The question bank is at the heart of the Speedwell eSystem. It allows you to design, build, manage and analyse the performance of every single exam question. It can provide key insights to make changes, raise the standards and run more effective assessments.

So how does it work?

Quite simply you import (or merely copy) existing question libraries into the software. Alternatively, you can author new questions from scratch, either directly or via remote authoring. Each question can be given a status, category, sub-category or keyword for easy retrieval.

A new exam can be easily and quickly compiled either manually or by using automated statistical searches and then refining your selection.

Using the blueprint

This is where the Blueprinting tool comes into its own, ensuring the relevant areas of the syllabus are covered fairly. Blueprinting allows papers to be constructed by setting up templates which use a set of pre-defined rules to select questions, and therefore ensure appropriate content and difficulty. For example, a simple search could be: include one question from each subject that hasn’t been used in the last 2 years, has a medium-range facility value and good discrimination. It’s that simple and quality exam papers can be produced in a matter of minutes.

The next step is analysis and reporting. Once the examination results have been gathered, whether electronically or manually, the data provides you with immediate and in-depth statistical analysis. You decide how you want to display the statistics (graphically or numerically) and use that information to produce clear, concise and conclusive reports – quickly.

This information will change the face of your future exams. It can, for example, highlight a question that is unwittingly poorly worded, leading to skewed responses. It will detect whether a question is too easy or difficult. And it can even highlight the performance of the individual responsible for writing one set of questions versus another.

What else can it do?

Well, using eSystem’s question bank will save you considerable time and stress. No more unwieldy Word documents or disorganised systems. While giving you confidence in the quality and validity of your assessments. Furthermore, it supports all kinds of exams – multiple-choice, short written answers, VSA, Hot Spot, OSCES and more. And it’s intuitive design makes it easy to use

It also has some really practical functions:

  • A complete history of the question i.e. when the question was changed, by who and when.
  • Text, images and related material can all be attached to the question, for example any material required for a practical exam.
  • Style templates for more professional-looking exams, while images can easily be added and scaled to size.
  • Automatic renumbering of the questions (and answers) if a question is moved, deleted or added.
  • And so much more.

In summary, by using a question bank, you’ll build up a detailed performance history of all the questions in the bank.  Giving you the power to interrogate the performance of every question and weed out the ones that aren’t working. This in turn will enable you to drive up quality, ensuring each and every exam offers the right content and the appropriate degree of difficulty. All this while saving you time, money and effort … what’s not to like?

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about our eSystem exam software, or you’d like to arrange a personal, no-obligation demonstration, get in touch. Call our sales team on +44 (0)1223 851703 or email info@speedwellsoftware.com

 

Updated Dec 5th 2019