The project investigates the feasibility of using
objective tests for diagnostic purposes and of using certain
items from these tests in the construction of selection/
attainment tests. The possibility of using the information
gained from both types of test to form the basis of a
mathematical record for a child is also discussed.
The tests are devised to reveal the algorithmic
difficulties encountered by children in the four
computational skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication
and division. To show the various sub-stages required for
mastery of a particular skill, each of the four computational
skills was divided into its component sub-stages. Ideally
each of these sub-stages would have been tested at the
appropriate point in the child's school career but due to
the shortage of time for the project all the sub-stages for
a particular computational skill were tested in a single test.
To ensure that the tests were not too long three items were
set to represent each sub-stage and five tests were given;
these being Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication (Part 1),
Multiplication (Part 2) and Division.
A major problem arose when constructing the distractors
for the items of the Objective Diagnostic Tests because these
had to be constructed
from algorithmic considerations and no
books could be found which, contained these in enough detail. Thus it was necessary for the writer to construct his own
tests which would be analysed to reveal the necessary
The investigation into the feasibility of employing
certain items used in the diagnostic tests for
selection/attainment purposes arose out of practical
considerations. If it were possible that the diagnostic
tests could generate certain items for the selection/attainment
tests then the teacher would be saved much time and effort
by not having to write (at least) two sets of items.
Finally the information gained from both types of
tests is briefly discussed as the basis for a Mathematical
Record of each child.
A Master's Dissertation, submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the award of the Master Of Science degree of Loughborough University.