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 Education-portal.com 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 Education-portal.com 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