Pretest data collection for the item design of student assessment was conducted from May 20 to 23, 2018 in the Gaindakot area, which lies in the Nawalpur District adjacent to the district of Chitwan. Because the education conditions in there are similar to those in the Chitwan district. ISER-N staff prepared a list of all schools in the Gaindakot area. Of this list, twelve schools had students enrolled in Grade 8. Eight schools were randomly selected from those twelve schools for the instrument pre-test.

Four sets of questions for each three subjects (Nepali, Math and Science) were pretested in the eight selected schools. During the test, two students sat on one bench. The four distinct sets of questions were distributed among them in an alternating way to avoid copying and cheating. Students were given 2 hours to complete the subject test. Distinct subjects were administered on different days, such that no student sat for more than one subject test in a single day. The pre-test was administered by the 12 trained personnel of ISER-N. The distribution of question sets per subject is given in Table 1.

Table 1: Pre-test distribution of question sets per subject
S.N. Subject Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Total
1 Nepali 115 117 113 109 454
2 Mathematics 107 91 103 106 407
3 Science 98 94 91 97 380