Developing a five-tier diagnostic test to identify students’ misconceptions in science

Rif'at Shafwatul Anam


To diagnose students’ misconceptions, researchers commonly use several diagnostic tools that can best describe students’ conceptions. The purpose of this article is to propose a new diagnostic test that can be used to diagnose students’ understanding of a concept and what they think about the concept. The instrument uses the multiple-tier test (four-tier) and adds one more tier, a drawing tier. So, this new instrument is called a five-tier test. This instrument can diagnose students’ conceptions in more details and can be the window to student thinking that can help teachers in diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment. The research involved 69 elementary school (fifth grade) students as participants. The research result shows that almost all students only knew concepts at the macroscopic level; they had a lack of knowledge at the microscopic level, both on verbal and visual (drawing) tests. Overall, this article is expected to contribute a new diagnostic test that can provide complete data about students’ conceptions


Diagnostic instruments, multiple-tier test, drawing, misconceptions

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