Item Analysis – What do we do with it?

After exam, we would typically asked to do item analysis. What is the purpose? Or is it just another paper exercise for reporting?

To me, if item analysis is just mainly for reporting purpose, then we can forget about it.  What for if it is for reporting and no follow up action? Or the follow up action is just merely exercising your mouth muscles (e.g. No-Action-Talk-Only) . I would then ask a very simple question “What for?”.

We might as well save our time and do more meaningful things. I see it happening most of the time and it really ends up a paper exercise. I admit I am one of these teachers who did that.  I basically trust my “gut” feeling rather than data.

But, with my post-graduate studies, I now had a different way of looking at item analysis. I really look at the data and see if there is any recurring theme. I even looked at the mistakes and tried to see a pattern. So, far this is what I had gathered so far:

P6 Science

  • Use of superlatives to compare more than two objects
  • Not using data given to support their answer
  • Difficulty in grasping the concept between gravitational force and gravitational energy
  • Not giving detailed explanation
  • Weak in applying concepts in completely new novel situation

P6 Maths

  • Not enough time to complete Paper 1 due to lack of factual fluency
  • Need able to use models to solve word problems.


P4 Science

  • Weak in applying concepts in completely new novel situation
  • Difficulty in the concept of definite shape and definite volume


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *