Items are selected that discriminate between high and low achievers. In some states, performance standards have been steadily increased, so that students continually have to know more to meet the same level. Comparing criterion-referenced and norm-referenced scores Some assessments provide both criterion-referenced and norm-referenced results, which can often be a source of confusion. Sometimes cut scores have been set in a way that maximizes the number of low income or minority students who fail the test. Training may be required in understanding achievement test scores—how to interpret them and how to use them as one indicator to diagnose students' strengths and weaknesses.
Tests that are pass-fail are criterion-referenced, as are many tests for certifications. At this point, she could have proactively worked to boost his growth—perhaps by giving him additional practice opportunities, assigning him to a different instructional group, providing more targeted supports or scaffolding during lessons, or pairing him with a higher-performing student for peer tutoring. A small change in the cut score would not change the meaning of the test but would greatly increase minority pass rates. Administration Norm-Referenced tests must be administered in a standardized format. Measurement is the cornerstone of psychological studies. Each individual is compared with other examinees and assigned a score--usually expressed as a percentile, a grade equivalent score, or a stanine. Each skill is usually tested by less than four items.
Student achievement is reported for broad skill areas, although some norm-referenced tests do report student achievement for individual skills. They are often seen as more fair than norm-referenced tests because how well the other people in the group do on the test doesn't affect your score. Therefore, they may not match the curriculum. To measure how much the test taker known before and after the instruction is finished. Criterion-Referenced You are already familiar with both kinds of scores, even if you haven't thought about them in those terms. The reporting of results for a norm referenced test is accomplished by a percentile rank.
The following is adapted from: Popham, J. Norm-referenced scores compare people with each other. For example, let's say level 1 consists of scores 1-20, level 2 consists of scores 21-40, etc. Each individual is compared with a preset standard for acceptable achievement. One might report scores between 180 and 250, for example, another in the 200's, and another in the 300's. In a criterion-referenced assessment, the score shows whether or not test takers performed well or poorly on a given task, not how that compares to other test takers; in an ipsative system, test takers are compared to previous performance.
Each skill is tested by at least four items to obtain an adequate sample of the student. By contrast, the National Children's Reading Foundation believes that it is essential to assure that virtually all children read at or above grade level by third grade, a goal which cannot be achieved with a norm-referenced definition of grade level. Gains indicate if a student has increased their knowledge or skill level, but do not indicate if a student is keeping up with their peers, surging ahead, or falling behind. Theater and are norm-referenced tests, because their goal is to identify the best candidate compared to the other candidates, not to determine how many of the candidates meet a fixed list of standards. Even if standards are of high quality, it is important to know how well a particular test actually matches the standards. Because schools serving wealthier students usually score higher than other schools, ranking often just compares schools based on community wealth. A researcher has to decide which is better for their study: a measurement tool that offers information about how people do in relation to others or one that looks at non-comparative data of how students do.
There are various types of assessments that can be used to measure student performance. Content Norm-Referenced tests measure broad skill areas taken from a variety of textbooks and syllabi. In this test, a curriculum is set in the beginning of the class, which is then explained by the instructor. The items vary in difficulty. Measurement and evaluation: Criterion- versus norm-referenced testing. Thus, we hope that this section of the Toolkit will help teachers and administrators understand some important aspects of test scores and how to interpret them.
A norm-referenced test does not seek to enforce any expectation of what test takers should know or be able to do. Examples of Criterion-Reference tests include the tests that are given in schools and colleges in classes by a teacher. It is important to understand the kinds of scores that are being used in the evaluation in order to interpret and explain them. Let's go back to our race scenario. In general, scoring at the 50th percentile is average and indicates that the test taker has scored better than 50% of the individuals testing. Perhaps the typical second-grader is only expected to do the kind of work represented by a score of 350.
Educators often disagree about the quality of a given set of standards. However, the standards may be different for each grade level. We don't know if she finished in 30 seconds or 30 minutes; we only know that she finished after two other runners and ahead of everyone else. A child in the 50th percentile has an average weight; a child in the 75th percentile weighs more than 75% of the babies in the norm group and the same as or less than the heaviest 25% of babies in the norm group; and a child in the 25th percentile weighs more than 25% of the babies in the norm group and the same as or less than 75% of them. Therefore, the test administration is scripted.