ERIC Number: ED182324
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
Some Comments on Criterion-Referenced and Norm-Referenced Achievement Tests.
Mehrens, William A.; Ebel, Robert L.
NCME Measurement in Education, v10 n1 Win 1979
The discussion on criterion-referenced (CRT) and norm-referenced achievement tests (NRT) is divided into two parts: definitions and use. The authors contrast CRTs, tests which compare an individual's performance to some specified behavioral criterion of proficiency, and NRTs, tests which compare an individual's score to scores of others. They also state that any test scores must be related to test content; that NRTs also possess content validity; that allegations that standardized test publishers ignore item content in favor of item statistics are inaccurate; and that all achievement tests should be keyed to objectives or to a specified content domain. In deciding which test to use, the authors state that standardized achievement tests sample a broader domain than CRTs and are more likely to help determine the adequacy of a curriculum than CRTs which are tailor made to specific instructional objectives. CRT interpretation is described as useful for assessing mastery learning; for decision making about instructional change; and for use in broad surveys of educational accomplishment. NRT interpretation is said to be useful for rank ordering of students in specific areas of achievement and for decision making in assessing qualitative factors in addition to mastery. (MH)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Criterion Referenced Tests, Definitions, Mastery Tests, Norm Referenced Tests, Standardized Tests, Test Interpretation, Test Selection, Test Validity
National Council on Measurement in Education, 1230 17th Street N.W., Washington, DC 20036 ($1.50)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Measurement in Education, East Lansing, MI.