ERIC Number: ED165125
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: N/A
Reading Proficiency and Standardized Tests: Another Objection.
Smith, Cyrus F., Jr.; Western, Richard D.
Reading comprehension tests usually contain reading passages followed by multiple choice questions about the passages; but one potential weakness of this format is that the questions may be "passage independent," answerable without necessarily reading the passage first. When examining this phenomenon by assessing a particular test, the "Stanford Test of Academic Skills," researchers administered two forms of the test to 101 tenth graders. One group (49 students) answered Form A test items without reading the passage, then read the Form B passage and answered those questions. The other group (52 students) read the Form A passage and answered its questions, then completed Form B test items without reading the Form B passage. Analysis of test scores shows that both groups achieved significantly higher scores in passage-independent conditions than chance (normal distribution approximations) would predict. These results, coming in the midst of greater demands for tests of basic skills such as reading proficiency, raise doubts about the value of standardized reading tests as they are presently constructed. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A