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Encyclopedia > Standardized test

A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a consistent manner. The tests are designed in such a way that the "questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent" [1] and are "administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner."[2] In education, certification, counseling, the military, and many other fields, a test or an exam (short for examination) is a tool or technique intended to measure students expression of knowledge, skills and/or abilities. ...

Contents

History

The earliest evidence of standardized testing based on merit comes from China during the Han dynasty. The concept of a state ruled by men of ability and virtue was an outgrowth of Confucian philosophy. The imperial examinations covered the Six Arts which included music, archery and horsemanship, arithmetic, writing, and knowledge of the rituals and ceremonies of both public and private parts. Later, the five studies were obviously added to the testing (military strategies, civil law, revenue and taxation, agriculture and geography).[citation needed] Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (202 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–190 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication to Cao Wei 220... The Imperial examinations (Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) in Imperial China determined who among the population would be permitted to enter the states bureaucracy. ... Six Arts refer to the six practices in ancient Chinese culture. ...


United States

The first large-scale use of the IQ test in the US was during the World War I (circa 1914-18). The Educational Testing Service (ETS) established in 1948 is the world's largest private educational testing and measurement organization, operating on an annual budget of approximately $900 million. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Year 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 requires standardized testing in public schools. US Public Law 107-110, known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 further ties public school funding to standardized testing. President Lyndon B. Johnson enacted the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1965. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... This is a partial list of notable United States federal legislation, in chronological order. ... President Bush signing the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act at Hamilton H.S. in Hamilton, Ohio. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...

Further information: List of standardized tests in the United States

A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a standard manner. ...

Design and scoring

In practice, standardized tests can be composed of multiple-choice and true-false questions. Such items can be tested inexpensively and quickly by scoring special answer sheets by computer or via computer-adaptive testing. Some tests also have short-answer or essay writing components that are assigned a score by independent evaluators. These can be graded by evaluators who use rubrics (rules or guidelines) and anchor papers (examples of papers for each possible score) to determine the grade to be given to a response. A number of assessments, however, are not scored by people. For example, the Graduate Record Exam is a computer-adaptive assessment that requires no scoring by people (except for the writing portion).[3] A computer-adaptive test (CAT) is a form of test that adapts to the testees ability level. ... In the classroom, a rubric is a set of criteria and standards (linked to learning objectives) that is used to grade a student assessment (paper, project, essay, etc). ... The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States. ...


Scoring issues

There can be problems with human scoring. For example, the Seattle Times reported that for Washington State's WASL, temporary employees were paid $10 an hour. They spent as little as 20 seconds on each math problem, 2 and 1/2 minutes on an essay on items which may determine if a student graduates from high school, which some believe is a matter of concern given the high stakes nature of such tests. Person scores many other state tests similarly.[4] Agreement between scorers can vary between 60 to 85 percent depending on the test and the scoring session. Sometimes states pay to have two or more scorers read each paper to improve reliability, though this does not eliminate test responses getting different scores.[5] The daily Seattle Times is the leading newspaper in Seattle, Washington, United States. ... The Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) test is a standarized test used in the state of Washington. ... A high-stakes test is an assessment which has important consequences for the test taker. ...


Score

There are two types of standardized tests: norm-referenced tests and criterion-referenced tests,[1] resulting in a norm-referenced score or a criterion-referenced score, respectively. Norm-referenced scores compare test-takers to a sample of peers. Criterion-referenced scores compare test-takers to a criterion, and may also be described as standards-based assessment as they are aligned with the standards-based education reform movement.[6] Norm-referenced tests are associated with traditional education, which measures success by rank ordering students, while standards-based assessments are based on the egalitarian belief that all students can succeed if they are assessed against high standards which are required of all students regardless of ability or economic background.[citation needed] A test is said to be norm-referenced when the translated score tells where the person stands in some population of persons who have taken the test. ... A test is said to be criterion-referenced when provision is made for translating the test score into a statement about the behavior to be expected of a person with that score. ... A sample is that part of a population which is actually observed. ... A standards based test is one based on the outcome-based education or performance-based education philosophy. ... Education reform in the United States since the late 1980s has been largely driven by the setting of academic standards for what students should learn and be able to do. ... Traditional education is usually the absence or target of destruction by Education reform. ...


Standards

The considerations of validity and reliability typically are viewed as essential elements for determining the quality of any standardized test. However, professional and practitioner associations frequently have placed these concerns within broader contexts when developing standards and making overall judgments about the quality of any standardized test as a whole within a given context. In logic, the form of an argument is valid precisely if it cannot lead from true premises to a false conclusion. ... In statistics, reliability is the consistency of a set of measurements or measuring instrument. ... For the Talib Kweli album Quality (album) Quality can refer to a. ... A standards organization, also sometimes referred to as a standards body, a standards development organization or SDO (depending on what is being referenced), is any entity whose primary activities are developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpreting, or otherwise maintaining standards that address the interests of a wide base of...


Evaluation standards

In the field of evaluation, and in particular educational evaluation, the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation[7] has published three sets of standards for evaluations. The Personnel Evaluation Standards[8] was published in 1988, The Program Evaluation Standards (2nd edition)[9] was published in 1994, and The Student Evaluation Standards[10] was published in 2003. This article is about characterizing and appraising something of interest. ... By evaluating the information above I have found out that there are many ways of developing tourism in the world and how tourism industry works and its background about tourism. ... The Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation is a coalition of major professional associations formed in 1975 to help improve the quality of evaluation. ...


Each publication presents and elaborates a set of standards for use in a variety of educational settings. The standards provide guidelines for designing, implementing, assessing and improving the identified form of evaluation. Each of the standards has been placed in one of four fundamental categories to promote educational evaluations that are proper, useful, feasible, and accurate. In these sets of standards, validity and reliability considerations are covered under the accuracy topic. For example, the student accuracy standards help ensure that student evaluations will provide sound, accurate, and credible information about student learning and performance.


Testing standards

In the field of psychometrics, the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing[11] place standards about validity and reliability, along with errors of measurement and related considerations under the general topic of test construction, evaluation and documentation. The second major topic covers standards related to fairness in testing, including fairness in testing and test use, the rights and responsibilities of test takers, testing individuals of diverse linguistic backgrounds, and testing individuals with disabilities. The third and final major topic covers standards related to testing applications, including the responsibilities of test users, psychological testing and assessment, educational testing and assessment, testing in employment and credentialing, plus testing in program evaluation and public policy. For the parapsychology phenomenon of distance knowledge, see psychometry. ... The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing is a set of testing standards developed jointly by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME). ... Measurement is the estimation of the magnitude of some attribute of an object, such as its length or weight, relative to a unit of measurement. ... This article is about the concept of justice. ... In jurisprudence and law, a right is the legal or moral entitlement to do or refrain from doing something or to obtain or refrain from obtaining an action, thing or recognition in civil society. ... See Language (journal) for the linguistics journal. ... Look up disability in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Psychological testing or psychological assessment is a field characterized by the use of samples of behavior in order to infer generalizations about a given individual. ... In education, certification, counseling, the military, and many other fields, a test or an exam (short for examination) is a tool or technique intended to measure students expression of knowledge, skills and/or abilities. ... This article is about work. ... A professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation (often called simply certification or qualification) is a designation earned by a person to assure that he/she is qualified to perform a job or task. ... Program evaluation is essentially a set of philosophies and techniques to determine if a program works. It is a practice field that has emerged, particularly in the USA, as a disciplined way of assessing the merit, value, and worth of projects and programs. ... Standardized testing is used as a public policy strategy to establish stronger accountability measures for public education. ...


Advantages

One of the main advantages of standardized testing is that it the results can be empirically documented, therefore the test scores can be shown to have a relative degree of validity and reliability, as well as results which are generalizable and replicable.[12]. This is often contrasted with grades on a school transcript, which are assigned by individual teachers. It may be difficult to account for differences in educational culture across schools, difficulty of a given teacher's curriculum, differences in teaching style, and techniques and biases that affect grading. This makes standardized tests useful for admissions purposes in higher education, where a school is trying to compare students from across the nation or across the world. In psychometrics a valid measure is one which is measuring what it is supposed to measure. ... In psychometrics reliability is the accuracy of the scores of a measure. ...


Another advantage is aggregation. A well designed standardized test provides an assessment of an individual's mastery of a domain of knowledge or skill which at some level of aggregation will provide useful information. That is, while individual assessments may not be accurate enough for practical purposes, the mean scores of classes, schools, branches of a company, or other groups may well provide useful information because of the reduction of error accomplished by increasing the sample size.


Disadvantages and criticism

Though educators recognize that standardized tests have a place in the arsenal of tools used to assess student achievement, many feel that overuse and misuse of these tests is having serious negative consequences on teaching and learning. According to FairTest,[13] when standardized tests are the primary factor in accountability, the temptation is to use the tests to define curriculum and focus instruction. What is not tested is not taught, and how the subject is tested becomes a model for how to teach the subject. Critics say this disfavors higher-order learning. [citation needed]


It is of course possible to use a standardized test and not let its limits control curriculum and instruction. However, this can result in a school putting itself at risk for producing lower test scores. For example, under the federal No Child Left Behind law in the United States, low test scores mean schools and districts can be labeled "in need of improvement" and punished. It also means parents and the community are less likely to know how well children are learning in untested areas. Signing ceremony at Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio. ...


Supporters of standardized testing respond that these are not reasons to abandon testing, but rather criticisms of poorly designed testing regimes. They argue that testing focuses educational resources on the most important aspects of education - imparting a pre-defined set of knowledge and skills - and that other aspects are either less important, or should be added to the testing scheme.


Some critics say [attribution needed] that some children do not do well on standardized tests, despite mastery of the material, due to testing anxiety or lack of time management or test-taking skills.


The growing influence of test preparation is also a concern for some. As the importance of standardized testing rises, many students and attempt to prepare themselves for a test, either through free sample tests and programs, purchasing books designed to prepare the student for a test, or private tutoring sessions. Some parents are willing to pay thousands of dollars to prepare their children for tests,[14] a financial barrier that may give children of more wealthy parents an advantage compared to less affluent families. However this criticism would probably apply even more to testing alternatives such as portfolios or essays. Many studies also show that test coaching has little effect on scores on well-built tests.


Testing bias occurs when a test systematically favors one group over another, even though both groups are equal on the trait the test measures. Critics allege that test makers and facilitators are connected to government committees[citation needed], and these groups and test makers tend to represent a middle class, white background. Critics claim that standardized testing match the values, habits, and language of the test makers[citation needed]. However, being that most tests come from a white, middle-class background, it is important to note that the highest test scores are not by people of that background.[15] It is also important to note that virtually modern standardized tests follow extensive guidelines with regard to test bias and ensure diverse representation of ethnic groups and backgrounds during test development. Students from minority backgrounds have a hard time identifying with the subject matter of questions and readings because they do not correlate with their previous experiences. For students who speak English as a second language or another form of English, such as Ebonics, they have a hard time reading and comprehending the tests because they are written in Standard English. Note that these criticisms apply primarily to verbal tests. It is hard to imagine how a test which primarily contains abstract problems (such as a math or IQ test) could unfairly favor any particular group. Questions on these tests contain only the symbols and concepts inherent to the subject, thus any disparate group impact is simply legitimate measurement of ability.


Not all tests are well-written, for example, containing multiple-choice questions with ambiguous answers, or poor coverage of the desired curriculum. Some standardized tests include essay questions, and some have criticized the effectiveness of the grading methods. Recently, partial computerized grading of essays has been introduced for some tests, which is even more controversial.[16]


Educational decisions

Test scores are in some cases used as a sole, mandatory, or primary criterion for admissions or certification. For example, some U.S. states require high school graduation examinations. Adequate scores on these exit exams are required for high school graduation. The General Educational Development test is often used as an alternative to a high school diploma. According to a 2006 study by the Center on Education Policy, two-thirds of the 15 million public high school students in the United States of America were required to pass a graduation examination to get a diploma of completion of studies. ... The Tests of General Educational Development, or GED Tests, are a battery of five tests which, when passed, certify that the taker has American or Canadian high school-level academic skills. ...


Other applications include tracking (deciding whether a student should be enrolled in the "fast" or "slow" version of a course) and awarding scholarships. In the United States, many colleges and universities automatically translate scores on Advanced Placement tests into college credit, satisfaction of graduation requirements, or placement in more advanced courses. Generalized tests such as the SAT are more often used as one measure among several, when making admissions decisions. Some public institutions have cutoff scores for the SAT, GPA, or class rank, for creating classes of applicants to automatically accept or reject. The Advanced Placement Program is a program that offers college level courses at high schools across the United States and Canada. ... For other uses, see SAT (disambiguation). ... The initials GPA can refer, among other things, to Grade Point Average; see Grade (education) Guinness Peat Aviation General Practice Australia, a private, independent medical accreditation society Greyhound Pets of America This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same...


Heavy reliance on standardized tests for decision-making is often controversial, for the reasons noted above. Critics often propose emphasizing cumulative or even non-numerical measures, such as classroom grades or brief individual assessments (written in prose) from teachers.


The National Academy of Sciences recommends that major educational decisions not be based solely on a test score.[17]


References

  1. ^ a b Sylvan Learning glossary, retrieved online, source no longer available
  2. ^ Popham, J. (1999). Why standardized tests don’t measure educational quality. Educational Leadership, 56(6), 8-15.
  3. ^ ETS webage about scoring the GRE.
  4. ^ [1] Sunday, August 27, 2000 "Temps spend just minutes to score state test A WASL math problem may take 20 seconds; an essay, 2 1/2 minutes" Jolayne Houtz Seattle Times "In a matter of minutes, a $10-an-hour temp assigns a score to your child's test"
  5. ^ Why the WASL is Awful
  6. ^ Where We Stand: Standards-Based Assessment and Accountability (American Federation of Teachers) [2]
  7. ^ Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation
  8. ^ Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. (1988). The Personnel Evaluation Standards: How to Assess Systems for Evaluating Educators. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
  9. ^ Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. (1994). The Program Evaluation Standards, 2nd Edition. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
  10. ^ Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. (2003). The Student Evaluation Standards: How to Improve Evaluations of Students. Newbury Park, CA: Corwin Press.
  11. ^ The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing
  12. ^ Kuncel, N. R., & Hezlett, S. A. (2007). Science, 315, 1080-81.
  13. ^ FairTest (National Center for Fair & Open Testing)
  14. ^ Associated Press (August 4, 1998). "Tackling the SAT? Test-prep help abounds". Christian Science Monitor 90 (175): B3. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved on 2007-07-09. “Some parents spend thousands of dollars for private sessions...” 
  15. ^ Race and intelligence (test_data)#IQ test score gap in the US
  16. ^ Weighing In On the Elements of Essay by Jay Mathews. Washington Post, 1 Aug 2004, p. A01.
  17. ^ "High Stakes: Testing for Tracking, Promotion, and Graduation"

The Associated Press, or AP, is an American news agency, the worlds largest such organization. ... is the 216th day of the year (217th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is an international newspaper published daily, Monday through Friday. ... ISSN, or International Standard Serial Number, is the unique eight-digit number applied to a periodical publication including electronic serials. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Main article: Race and intelligence (Research) The gaps found between the average intelligences of races or ethnicities varies depending on methods used for racial grouping, the method and setting used to test intelligence,[1] the health and economic situation of the test takers, the interplay between the culture of the... ...

See also

Major topics

For article assessment policy on Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Article assessment. ... This article is about characterizing and appraising something of interest. ... A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a standard manner. ... For the parapsychology phenomenon of distance knowledge, see psychometry. ... A standards based test is one based on the outcome-based education or performance-based education philosophy. ... In education, certification, counseling, the military, and many other fields, a test or an exam (short for examination) is a tool or technique intended to measure students expression of knowledge, skills and/or abilities. ...

Other topics

In the education industry, alternative assessment or portfolio assessment is in direct contrast to what is known as performance evaluation, traditional assessment, or summative assessment. ... A test is said to be criterion-referenced when provision is made for translating the test score into a statement about the behavior to be expected of a person with that score. ... According to a 2006 study by the Center on Education Policy, two-thirds of the 15 million public high school students in the United States of America were required to pass a high school graduation examination to get a diploma of completion of studies. ... A test is said to be norm-referenced when the translated score tells where the person stands in some population of persons who have taken the test. ... Education reform in the United States since the late 1980s has been largely driven by the setting of academic standards for what students should learn and be able to do. ... A standards based test is one based on the outcome-based education or performance-based education philosophy. ... Standardized testing is used as a public policy strategy to establish stronger accountability measures for public education. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
On Standardized Testing. ERIC Digest. (1551 words)
While standardized tests are problematic at all ages and levels of schooling, they are especially questionable in primary grades.
Results of these "screening" tests are often the basis for cautioning parents to "wait another year before starting your child in kindergarten." They are also used as a means of "early identification" of individuals who need special assistance, according to the preschool screeners.
If tests play a significant role in grade advancement or are the primary basis for a school's so-called accountability, teachers feel compelled to spend considerable time preparing children to take the tests.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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