What do we want Create A Test to be?

20 November 2018
What do we want Create A Test to be?

The ultimate aim of Create A Test is to be market leading assessment site in the world. Our priorities in achieving that are based on extensive experience of teaching and assessment, and effectively constitute a mission statement. These are cost, coverage, community and customisability.

Cost
Problem?
Too many assessment tools and education sites in general are prohibitively expensive. We never want to be a site that charges £5000 a year, because we understand what it feels like to be a Head of Department with a shrinking budget and other vital resources to purchase. Also, we want to be accessible to schools worldwide, and we know that for some schools in less economically developed countries, the idea of spending even £1000 a year for access to a website must seem absurd.

Solution?
We make our site free for everyone. This means that any school with internet access can get immediate access to a huge question bank of high quality questions without having to cut corners in other areas. This makes us very happy. We also still provide a premium licence for schools and tutors that can afford it and who want the very best that the site has to offer.
This also means keeping our costs low. We don’t want to be another company that ceases to exist in a couple of years, because we believe in offering affordable, high quality assessment for everyone. So we keep our team small, we don’t waste money on expensive advertising campaigns, we spend a small amount on marketing and the rest on making our product better and better every month.

Coverage
Problem?
Firstly, we know that for an assessment site to be worthwhile, it needs to have a huge amount of content, so that almost every conceivable question exists. Secondly, we know from experience how difficult is to create assessments quickly and easily. We also know how much teachers all over the world have enjoyed using the maths, physics and computer science question banks. We don’t want the teachers of other subjects to be deprived the ability to create papers in minutes, rather than hours (or more realistically, weekends!).

Solution?
We have dedicated a huge amount of our resources to creating the huge question banks that currently exist. We are now looking for tech-savvy teachers of all subjects to help us create question banks for the entire curriculum. We can’t do them all straight away, but there’s no reason why the site can’t be extended to include every subject there is. Then every feature we create can be used by geography, Spanish and (whisper it) maybe even English teachers!
So please speak to your friends in other departments and see if they’re interested in improving their CV, earning some money and helping to develop a superb resource.

Community
Problem?
We think that the vast majority of educational resources have got the balance wrong between allowing users to contribute content, and guaranteeing quality. Some allow all users to upload any material they like, which means that there is a huge amount of content, but it is of variable quality and it takes a huge amount of time to search through to find what you need. Other sites create the content themselves, which means that there can be an issue of coverage, but more importantly, it means that users can’t create and share content.

Solution?
We created the question builder in a way that any user can use it to create questions that look and feel like they were created by an exam board. Then, to ensure quality, we check every question before sharing it with the rest of the community. We also allow users to access all of the papers created by all of our users.

Customisability
Problem?
Sites which only create their own content don’t allow for users to make their own personal alterations. This means that users can feel the desire to ‘mix and match’ questions from the site with others that they create themselves in a word processor.

Solution?
Every single question on Create A Test can be copied into a user’s personal question bank, altered and used in a paper. This means they can change the name used in a question to one of their students, add in an extra extension challenge or alter the image used to make it more personalised to their class. Users can also alter the front page, the text, the font size, whether it’s a paper or worksheet, and anything else we can think of!

We want to be the cheapest, most community-led and customisable assessment product, with coverage of every subject across every Key Stage. If you have any suggestions as to how we can achieve that, or how we improve our product, please contact us @createatest. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

The CAT team

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