Quality assurance

Quality Assurance of exam scripts is important in assuring the integrity of the exam and that it assesses the achievement of the student against the subject learning outcomes.

What we look for


Learning Outcomes

  • Are questions aligned with the subject learning outcomes?
  • Are the standards appropriate and do the questions provide students with opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge as required by the learning outcome?
  • Are the number of questions per learning outcome equal or weighted to the importance of each learning outcome?

Validity and reliability

Validity of exam scripts should enable measurement of the achievements of skills intended to the achieved by the learning outcome. For example: if depth of knowledge is required to be assessed, then we need to design long answer/essay type questions with adequate direction.

Reliability of exam script allows consistency in marking and to differentiate between the levels of the performance.

  • Is there a mix of question types asked in the exam? For example: multiple choice, short answer, essay type questions to be inclusive for diverse learners and to minimise weaknesses connected with one kind of assessment.
  • Are questions independent of other questions? For example: one question does not depend on answers from the previous items and/or hints to answer a particular question are not included in other questions.
  • Does the question contain enough direction to the students to answer adequately and do the questions focus on important concepts rather than obscure, trivial facts or trick questions?

Clarity of questions

  • Are the active verbs clear and appropriate to assess the skills level as required by the learning outcome?
  • Is the language used clear and easily understandable, including for students coming from non-English speaking background?
  • Is the question layout easy to follow?

Higher level learning

  • Do long-answer/essay questions lead to answers that give opportunities for students to demonstrate distinction level of skills and knowledge?
  • Have data or information been included in questions to reduce the emphasis on memory and increase the emphasis on critical thinking?
  • Are some questions in MCQ aimed at higher level learning?

Multiple choice questions and essays

  • Have the general rules for multiple choice question and essay questions been considered during development of the exam script?

Academic Integrity

  • Has the exam been used before?
  • Have strategies been used to reduce cheating?
  • Are instructions explicit and clear?

Steps to ensure quality assurance

  1. Request access to exams management system.
  2. Complete the web form in the exams-management-system.
    • Request an exam through an Online Exam Request.
  3. Write your examination and have it quality assured.
  4. Ensure Exam information communicated in Subject Outline matches the exam being submitted.
  5. Subject Coordinator signs off on Exam Paper QA Checklist PDF or Word document. Use this checklist as a reminder of the required elements for your exam paper.
  6. Exam Script submitted to the exams team.
    • Students receive Quality Exam Script.

What QA officers look for in the exam script to ensure quality

  1. Exam questions are aligned to the subject learning outcomes identified in the rationale for the assessment?
    • Are questions aligned?
    • Does the skill level match?
  2. What is communicated in the Subject Outline is in the exam?
  3. Are exam instructions clear and explicit?
  4. Student Administration checklist has been followed?