Friday, June 3, 2011

Interpreting Norm-Referenced Test Scores

Question: What are norm-referenced test scores and why are they useful?

Answer/Quote: “In most instances…the frame of reference for interpreting the test performance of an individual is the ‘typical’ performance of some defined group. In other words, the reference is a ‘norm.’ ”

If the student are fourth graders, the test norms would be typical fourth-grade students who performed on the test. Comparing the fourth-grade students to the norms on the test should give some idea of how the target students are  performing against their peers.

Comment: I’m not an expert on testing, so an article like this one helps me put the vocabulary of testing into some intelligible framework. Another reason why I read professional journals in English education: to understand the technical language of education.  RayS.

Title: “Criterion-Referenced Test Interpretation in Reading.” George A. Prescott. Reading Teacher (January 1971), 347-354.

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