When tests are used to determine critical judgments regarding a student, such as high school graduation or grade advancement, they are referred to as "high-stakes." When all students answer the same questions under identical settings and their replies are assessed in the same way, a test is said to be "standardized." Tests used to provide information about which teachers should be awarded tenure or promoted are also "stake-holder tests." These terms will be explained in more detail below.
The importance of using accurate information when making decisions that affect many people grows with the size of the decision. For example, if a university decides to reject an applicant because she did not submit the required score on a standardized test, this would be considered "critical judgment" by most people. Such critical judgments must be based on reliable information, so they usually involve some type of assessment tool (i.e., test).
A test can be described as standardized if it measures how much knowledge a person has, and how well she knows her material. The test questions will always be the same for each student, and the answers cannot be influenced by what anyone else does or doesn't know. This means that the results of a standardized test can be trusted to tell us something important about a student's abilities without bias due to personal feelings toward the student or teacher favoritism. Tests used in educational institutions to measure how much a student has learned during a given period are standardized.
High-stakes examinations are those that are used to make critical choices concerning students. These include whether students should be promoted, graduate, or be admitted to programs. High-stakes tests are intended to determine whether or not the state's content and performance criteria have been met. The use of these exams is also said to have a stifling effect on student learning because schools are under pressure to produce results, so they focus more on providing materials for the test rather than on helping students learn.
The term "high-stakes testing" was first used by Richard Rothstein in his book, Dumbing Down America. He argued that content standards adopted by states to ensure that students are prepared for college level work are creating a generation of Americans who are not knowledgeable enough to function as citizens. He says that these standards have been adopted without sufficient consideration being given to how best to measure student knowledge and skill acquisition, which he claims are necessary if students are not to become passive consumers of information.
Rothstein goes on to argue that the standardized tests used to measure students' knowledge and skills acquisition are too difficult for most students to succeed at. This, he says, is having a negative impact on students' interest in learning. It discourages them from trying their hardest on assignments and encourages them to cheat to achieve higher scores.
Finally, Rothstein argues that high-stakes testing is having a detrimental effect on teachers' practices.
Standardized exams are those that have been designed with questions specifically intended at determining accomplishment levels. These sorts of examinations are the result of extensive study into what areas of knowledge and abilities are common at certain ages and school levels. They can also be used to make generalizations about a population, such as the scores of students in a school or state. Standardized tests also provide information about an individual student's strengths and weaknesses, which can help teachers plan more effective learning experiences.
The two main types of standardized tests are criterion-referenced tests and norm-referenced tests. On both type of tests, the goal is to determine how well individuals within the sample group know their material. However, on criterion-referenced tests, they are given an opportunity to show how well they can apply what they already know by answering multiple-choice questions. In contrast, on norm-referenced tests, they are given a set of items for which they are expected to give a correct answer. The amount they answer correctly without looking at the answers is then used to estimate how well they would do on a test that includes items from all different parts of the material.
Another difference between criterion-referenced and norm-referenced tests is how they are scored. On criterion-referenced tests, each right answer is worth a specified number of points.
Standardized tests are tests that are designed to meet a specific set of testing criteria. These exams are given and evaluated in a consistent manner, and they are frequently used to evaluate the performance of children in a program. The two most common types of standardized tests for young children are screening tests and comprehensive assessments.
Screening tests are used by educators to determine whether or not children need further evaluation or therapy. They are quick and easy to take and score, which is why they are popular with teachers and parents. The results of these tests can help identify problems in learning or behavior that may not be apparent from just looking at a child. Examples of screening tests include the Battelle Developmental Inventory, the Bruin Assessment Battery, and the Early Screening Instrument - 3rd Edition.
Comprehensive assessments are used by educators to gather more information about a child's strengths and needs. They usually require more time to complete and score than screening tests. This is because comprehensive assessments try to measure all aspects of knowledge and skill development for each child. Examples of comprehensive assessments include the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement, the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - 4th Edition.
Children's minds are growing all the time.
A standardized exam is one that is administered to students in a fairly uniform fashion, which means that the questions on the test are all the same, the time allotted to each student is the same, and the method the test is scored is the same for all students. Standardized tests are useful tools for comparing performance among groups of students or individuals.
Standardized tests can be given more than once per year as long as the results are reported on an individual level and not as a group score. This allows test administrators to see how each student has progressed over time while also detecting potential problems before they become serious enough to affect grade-level results as a whole.
Standardized tests can be very effective tools for identifying strengths and weaknesses in a child's learning abilities. This information can help teachers plan future lessons and assignments so that children are not forced to study material they have already mastered.
The goal of any good standardized test is fair and accurate representation of what students know. That way, we can make informed decisions about where students need additional support and how best to provide it.
Standardized tests can also be a valuable tool for educators. They can help identify problem areas in a school or district curriculum and suggest ways to improve them.
Finally, standardized tests can be used by schools to allocate resources effectively.