When testing is necessary, there are usually several different types of standardized tests. Different tests are used in different academic disciplines so for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on mathematics. The common purpose for standardized tests is first to give an overall standard of comparison for students within a specific school district and also to make sure that all students reach similar educational goals for their age group. Standardized tests can be either mathematics or reading tests, but they usually combine both into one test. Typically, one mathematics test is administered at the end of the year while another reading test is administered at the start of the new year.
Unit testing. Unit testing, also called repeated units or multiple-choice testing, is a type of test where a panel of teachers gives a simultaneous response to each question. The panel is made up of at least three teachers and can go in any order to answer the questions. This type of test usually requires the completion of at least one page of homework which is then given to the child immediately after the completion of the test.
Software testing. Similar to unit testing, software testing is a type of multiple-choice test where the panel of testers is asked to respond to a specific, predetermined question. The only difference between the software testing and unit testing is that no actual homework is required. Most commonly, software testing is performed during the developmental or initial stages of a child’s education when they are completing specific tasks in preparation for a classroom-based test later on.
Writing test cases. Written tests are typically easier to do than software testing since the answers cannot be changed. This makes the writing test case more similar to an essay than a simple math problem. It is not uncommon for parents to request software tests and write their own test cases. If you choose this option, you should know that the outcome will not be compared against the written test because the answers are already printed on the software screen.
Automated test data collection. Like automated tests, some software suites will automatically collect and store the data from testing so that results can be analyzed later. Some of these systems will require the user to run the test data collection once per day or perform it manually per testing session. The test data collection system should allow the user to save the test cases that he/she has completed so that future tests can be run without reopening the old ones. This feature is very important especially if the tester does not have enough time to manually open and close test cases. Most software suites that come with testing tools will allow the user to just select a test to open and save it.
Followup Testing. Following major release milestones, test automation software will begin to collect test data and generate reports. You can opt to collect the test data yourself so that you will know if the test implementation went well or not. More often than not, software developers follow the release cadence so that they won’t waste too much time in the testing phase. As soon as you’ve made your decision to automate your testing, start building test environments that will make the whole process easier.