ERIC Number: ED262045
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Reference Count: 0
How Can Tests be Misused: Let Me Count the Ways.
Gardner, Eric F.
Criticism of standardized tests is extensive, and a number of claims of test misuse have been made. Test misuse is discussed in six common circumstances. (1) Test users accept the title of a test as an accurate and complete description of the variable being measured, not having full knowledge of the test, its items, and the test manual. A cognitive test may test memory and vocabulary, but not reasoning ability. (2) The score is accepted while ignoring the error of measurement. (3) A single score is used for decision making, without considering all the factors influencing that score. (4) Test difficulty is not considered when interpreting a score, or the exact meaning of the type of score is not understood. (5) The information provided by the test score is confused with interpretations of what caused the behavior described by the score. (6) The test is biased when the predicted score is consistently too high or too low for a subgroup, or when the score does not represent an adequate measure of the ability being tested. This would occur when a low ability reader scores poorly on a science test because of the reading level of the items. (GDC)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Aptitude Tests, College Entrance Examinations, Elementary Secondary Education, Error of Measurement, Higher Education, Information Utilization, Scores, Standardized Tests, Test Bias, Test Interpretation, Test Manuals, Test Norms, Test Use, Test Validity, Testing Problems
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (Chicago, IL, April 1-4, 1985).