Standardized Tests

What are standardized tests?

A standardized test is any form of test that (1) requires all test takers to answer the same questions, or a selection of questions from common bank of questions, in the same way, and that (2) is scored in a “standard” or consistent manner, which makes it possible to compare the relative performance of individual students or groups of students.

Advantages of standardized tests

According to the some advantages of standardized tests are:

  • They're easy to administer and they consume less time to administer versus other assessments
  • The results are quantifiable
  • Scoring is objective and not subject to educator bias or emotions
  • Standardized testing allows educators to compare scores to students within the same school and across schools
  • Standardized testing provides a longitudinal report of student progress

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Disadvantages of standardized testing

According to some disadvantages of standardized tests are:

  • Test items are not parallel with typical classroom skills and behaviors
  • Since general knowledge is assessed, educators cannot use standardized test results to inform their individual instruction methods
  • Test items do not assess higher-level thinking skills
  • Test scores are greatly influenced by non-academic factors, such as fatigue and attention

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What form might standardized tests take?

  • Achievement tests are designed to measure the knowledge and skills students learned in school or to determine the academic progress they have made over a period of time
  • Aptitude tests attempt to predict a student’s ability to succeed in an intellectual or physical endeavor by, for example, evaluating mathematical ability, language proficiency, abstract reasoning, motor coordination, or musical talent
  • College-admissions tests are used in the process of deciding which students will be admitted to a collegiate program
  • International-comparison tests are administered periodically to representative samples of students in a number of countries, including the United States, for the purposes of monitoring achievement trends in individual countries and comparing educational performance across countries
  • Psychological tests, including IQ tests, are used to measure a person’s cognitive abilities and mental, emotional, developmental, and social characteristics