Standardized testing is a crucial part of education since the test questions measure learning standards. Standardized questions are written by teachers, professors and educators hired as independent contractors. They are paid by question usually $20 – $30 per question. Before they start working, these independent contractors have to sign non-disclosure agreements.

There are several processes involved in developing standardized tests. Each stage is crucial and necessary before the test question can be approved for use.

Development of Standardized Tests

The development of standardized test is based on specific state standards. There are guidelines on how the questions should be written. Usually each question should address a specific content standard. Independent contractors receive more detailed instructions on how to write the tests, as they emphasize on key points that each test should address.

After the test questions are written, they go through several processes before being approved for use. The test is passed through an artist who adds any graphics needed. It then goes through an editor who checks for errors and can reject or approve the question. Once approved the test is sent to an assessment specialist specific to that content.

An assessment specialist also checks for any errors or alignment issues before releasing it to the committee of educators. The committee deliberates on the question’s alignment, format, and possible bias then vote to accept, reject, or revise the question. If a test passes all screening stages, it is then sent for field testing. Items where most students pass or fail are rejected. The data from field test is reviewed by another committee who makes the final decision on the questions.

If selected, the question is put in a test bank before being made an operational question. A question can be used for several years before being retired or revised. Standardized test development is usually an ongoing exercise but you can really rely on it since it’s not an everyday job.

How to Become a Standardized Test Writer

If you are in the teaching profession, you should consider becoming a test writer as a side hustle. You can simply search on Google for test creators specific to your qualifications, then you can visit their websites and leave your application and resume. Alternatively, you can leave your application at your state education department and whenever they have openings, they can reach out to you.

It is not an easy side hustle to start but, if you have relevant experience and qualifications, the opportunities are there. Have you ever participated in writing standardized test questions? How did you get yourself the job?Feel free to leave a comment below.