How to use diagnostic tests to help candidates succeed


All ICDL Profile Packs and Module packs include online practice tests called diagnostic tests to help diagnose what digital skills areas your class need to work on.

What is an ICDL diagnostic test?

An ICDL diagnostic test is a kind of practice or mock assessment of skills for a specific ICDL module. It covers the entire module syllabus and contains similar questions to the actual certification test. It can be taken at any stage while studying a module.

Each module includes three attempts at a diagnostic test, as standard. So if you go with a 10-module pack, or the ICDL Academic Profile Pack for schools, this will include 30 attempts per candidate.

What is the best use of diagnostic tests?

As a pre-assessment test: If candidates already have a level of competence in their chosen topic they can use a first diagnostic test to assess their skills. Candidates will then be aware of any areas that they may want to focus on in particular while studying the module. Candidates completely new to a module should wait until later in their studies before attempting a first diagnostic test.

As a progress check: Half-way through a module candidates may be ready to check their progress by attempting a diagnostic test. For an accurate picture of progress candidates should take the test seriously and focus on answering to their best ability. Test feedback includes suggested solutions to any questions answered incorrectly, helping candidates to revise the areas that need a little extra study.

As final preparation for the certification test: The diagnostic test lets candidates get used to the way the tests are run, to make them feel comfortable when they are ready to sit the actual test.

How do I manage diagnostic tests as a coordinator or tester?

Each candidate has three attempts at a diagnostic test for every module in their Profile Pack. So if you choose a 10-module pack, candidates have a combined total of 30 chances to do a diagnostic test. It is up to you as a tutor to ensure candidates get the most of our the diagnostic test. That means sitting a diagnostic test no more than three times per module. Otherwise there will be fewer attempts remaining for later modules.

As candidates only ‘use up’ their attempt once they finish out the test, encourage them to suspend the diagnostic tests instead so they only finish the test once they are satisfied they have answered each question to the best of their ability.