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The Clock is Ticking

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

Publishing a test is the next phase after exam questions have been vetted and standard setting performed. To publish a test for online delivery, you typically need to provide information such as number of forms, passing mark, duration, rules for retake and pass/fail messages.

During the job task analysis and exam blueprint stages, input from subject matter experts help determine the weight of each domain and its subtopics along with the total number of questions for each form. The number of questions and level of difficulty affect the duration of the test.

When I worked for HP Software, I learned that candidates took 90 to 120 seconds up to answer a multiple choice question. I've kept this baseline in mind until today. And in determining an exam's duration, I also consider the cognitive level of each item. If there are scenario-based items and multiple-select items, I increase the time estimated to answer the questions and add the value to the total time to run the exam.

How many questions do your test forms typically have? And how much time do you provide test takers to complete the test?

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