On the Construct Validity of High Stake Tests: The Case of Iranian National University Entrance Exam

  • Aliakbar Jafarpour Boroujeni Shahrekord University


An important assumption in language testing is that test items or observable variables tap the underlying latent
traits hypothesized in the theoretical model or constructs governing the design of the testing instrument.
Accordingly, the present study sought to investigate the reliability and construct validity of Iran’s national
university entrance exam. The participants of the study were 100 students who were making themselves ready for
the big test in two private institutes of Ghalamchi and Modaresane Sharif. To collect the relevant data, the
participants were asked to fulfil a sample test of university entrance exam. The result indicated that the present
test is moderately reliable (r=0.5), consulting kr-21. For the justification of the construct validity, this study utilizes
exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis to examine factors of the empirical data. Through the
operation of the empirical data analysis, important results are illustrated by the exploratory factor analysis. It has
been stated that several factors did not place under the same trait and therefore they should be removed from
the test. The results from the present study call for a recognition of importance of improving the test design for
EFL learners, teachers and material developers.