Doable and practical: A validation study of classroom diagnostic tests

Boh Young Lee, Sang Keun Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although many benefits are claimed for diagnostic testing, it is utilized far less than assessments for other purposes. This study produced classroom diagnostic tests in the areas of vocabulary and grammar, in both paper-and-pencil and computer-based formats, and utilized them in high school English-as-a-foreign-language instruction. Evidence was collected to investigate whether three hypothesized claims about the advantages of diagnostic testing asserted in the literature are valid. The results showed that students’ academic achievement increased when the results of instructional unit-based diagnostic tests were used to offer remediation. Although no differences in student achievement were found to result from the mode of diagnostic testing, the efficiency of diagnostic testing was greatly increased by automatic scoring and data analysis functions of the computer-based mode. A survey on the usefulness of diagnostic testing showed that when it was used, learners had higher levels of satisfaction with English instruction. However, the participants reported that when diagnostic testing pointed toward significant shortfalls in lexical knowledge, their confidence declined. Lastly, the students indicated that computer-based diagnostic testing has the advantage of being able to provide immediate feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-362
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Asia TEFL
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

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  • Automatic scoring
  • Computer-based tests
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Feedback


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