Assessment Key Terms

National Percentile Rank
Indicates the relative standing of one child when compared with others in the same grade; range from a low score of 1 to a high score of 99
Norm-Referenced Tests
Standardized tests designed to compare the scores of children to scores achieved by children the same age who have taken the same test.
Norms
The scores obtained by the standardization sample. The scores to which students are compared when they are administered the test.
Objectives
Stated, desirable outcomes of education
Obtained Score
The score that an individual gets on a test
Ordinal Scale
The items on the scale are listed in rank order.
Percentage Score
The percent of test items that were answered correctly
Percentiles (Percentile Ranks)
Percentage of scores that fall below a point on a score distribution; for example, a score at the 75th percentile indicates that 75% of students obtained that score or lower
Performance-Based Assessment
The demonstration of knowledge, skills, or behavior.
Performance Standards
Definitions of what a child must do to demonstrate proficiency at specific levels in content standards
Population
The large group from which the sample of individuals is selected and to which individual comparisons are made regarding test performance.
Portfolio (Assessment)
A collection of work that shows progress and learning; can be designed to assess progress, learning, effort, and/or achievement
Power Test
Measures performance unaffected by speed of response; time not critical; items usually arranged in order of increasing difficulty
Prereferral
A process in which questions and concerns about a student are raised and discussed. These procedures are not required by law and not all schools have a process like this
Profile
A graphic representaiton of an individual’s scores on several tests or subtests; allows for easy identification of strengths or weaknesses across different tests or subtests
Raw Score
the number of questions answered correctly on a test or subtest. they are converted to percentile ranks, standard scores, grade equivalent and age equivalent scores
Ratio Scale
the items on the scale are the same distance apart; the scale does have an absolute zero.
Referral
a process in which questions and concerns about a student are raised and referred to the IEP team. May come from a parent, teacher, or student. Step 2 of assessment processs.
Reliability
the consistency with which a test measures the area being tested; describes the extent to which a test is dependable, stable, and consistent when administered to the same individuals on different occasions.
Sample
a subgroup of a large group that is representative of the large group. This subgroup is the group that is actually tested.
Scaled Score
Represent approximately equal units on a continuous scale; facilitate conversions to other types of scores; can use to examine change in performance over time
Score
A specific number that results from the assessment of an individual
Screening
A process used to identify students who may have a disability and who will be referred for further assessment. Step 1 of assessment.
Skewed Distribution
A curve in which most of the scores are at the low end or the high end of the curve
Speed Test
a test in which performance is measured by the number of tasks performed in a given time. (e.g. typing speed and reading speed)
Standard Error of Measurement (SEM)
the amount of error associated with individual test scores, test items, items samples, and test times
Standard Score
Score on norm-referenced tests that are based on the bell curve and its equal distribution of scores from the average of the distribution. They’re especially useful because they allow for comparison between students and comparisons of one student over time.
Standard Deviation (S.D.)
A measure of variability of a distribution of scores. The more the scores cluster around the mean, the smaller it is.
Standardization
A consistent set of procedures for designing, administering, and scoring an assessment. It’s to ensure that all individuals are assessed under the same conditions and aren’t influenced by different conditions.
Standardized Tests
Tests that are uniformly developed, administered, and scored
Standards
Statements that describe what students are expected to know and do in each grade and subject area: include content standards, performance standards, and benchmarks
Stanine
A standard score between 1 to 9, with a mean of 5 and a SD of 2. The 1st is the lowest scoring group and the 9th is the highest
Subtest
A group of test items that measure a specific area (i.e., math calculation and reading comprehension) Several make up a test.
Test-Retest Reliability
An estimate of correlation between scores when the same test is administered two times
True Score
The score an individual would obtain on a test if there were no measurement errors
Validity
The extent to which a test measures the skills it sets out to measure and the extent to which inferences and actions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and accurate.