A note about docimology

In English the word docimology is by definition “A treatise on the art of testing, as in assaying metals, etc” ,whereas in French the word docimologie has a more specific meaning: it is the  scientific field of study related to the  analysis of tests and exam results , and the ways or methods used by examiners to give marks or grades.Usually mathematics and statistics are used in this kind of study.

The French psychologist Henri Piéron defined “docimologie” as “the systematic study of exams (the ways of marking/grading , interindividual and intra-individual variability of the examiners or evaluators , subjective factors , etc).”

This discipline tries to find the factors that influence the evaluation of a written or oral work done by a student, independently of the work or the student.There are factors related to the person doing the evaluation , the conditions of the examination , and the nature of the question or problem used in the evaluation.

It is interesting to note that most languages in Europe use the word docimology with its french meaning and definition in many studies and papers , but in English speaking countries this word seems to be used in  the general and more or less loose meaning given above.

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