Standardization of EFL Undergraduate Skill Exam Papers (A Case Study at Majmaah University)

Author: Muhammad Iqbal

Keywords: Standardization, EFL undergraduate students, Majmaah University, Bloom’s taxonomy, Course Learning Outcomes

DOI: DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol11no4.24

Designing standardized exams for EFL undergraduates is a matter of great concern in pedagogical practices that assess learners’ academic achievements. This case study was conducted at Majmaah  University, Saudi Arabia, to explore the significance of educational exam standardization and its impact on the process of implementation, leading to a balanced and equitable assessment of  English language skills. During the study, 250 final English skill exam questions of two semesters were analyzed. A mixed-method approach using a questionnaire and Focused Group Discussion was adopted to collect relevant data. The quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS 16, and the qualitative data was processed by thematic analysis. The quantitative data results showed that questions were balanced, valid, and reliable in language skill exam papers designed for undergraduate English students. The qualitative data revealed four major themes standardization of questions, the efficacy of Bloom’s taxonomy, assessment/evaluation, and alignment of the question with learning outcomes. These emerging themes highlighted the effectiveness of standardizing exam papers, identified problems, and suggested ways of improvement. The study indicates that exams must be scrutinized for the sake of standardization in terms of maximum course coverage; the variety in the question item; clear, concise, and precise instructions; validity and reliability of exam papers; and the alignment of questions with the course and program learning outcomes to ensure the implementation of the revised Bloom’s taxonomy. The study suggests, to generalize the results, that further investigation should be done in another Saudi university for the sake of comparison.