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NORM-REFERENCED

&
CRITERION REFERENCED
TESTS

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NORM-REFERENCED TESTS- CONCEPT
— To rank each student with respect to the achievement of others
in broad areas of knowledge.
— Normed using large groups of test takers. Compares one taker
to another. Measure achievement, predicts future
performance.
— Each individual is compared with other examinees and
assigned a score--usually expressed as a grade or equivalent
score.
— Student achievement is reported for broad skill areas, although
some norm-referenced tests do report student achievement in
specific sub-areas.
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NORM-REFERENCED TEST
NATURE & CHARACTERISTICS

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NORM-REFERENCED TEST-STEPS

— Measures broad skill areas sampled from a variety of


textbooks, syllabi, and the judgments of curriculum experts.

— Each skill is, usually, tested by less than four items.

— Items vary in difficulty. Items are selected that discriminate


between high and low achievers.

• If too many people get a question correct, or too many score


well, then test questions are “thrown out” until they achieve a
normal curve again.

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ADVANTAGES AND
DISADVANTAGES OF NRT
Advantages
— They easy for instructors to use
— They work well in situations requiring rigid differentiation among
students
— They are generally appropriate in large courses
Disadvantages
— An individual's grade is determined not only by his/her
achievements, but also by the achievements of others.
— No indication of prerequisite knowledge for more advanced
material has been mastered
— Less appropriate for measuring affective and psychomotor
objectives
— Encourages competition and comparison scores 6
CRITERION-REFERENCED TEST-
CONCEPT

• Criterion-referenced tests, also called mastery tests,

compare a person's performance to a set of


objectives. Anyone who meets the criterion can get a
high score.

• Benchmarks / objectives are and can attain mastery to

meet them.

• Measure a student against a specific set of knowledge

(criterion).

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CRITERION-REFERENCED TEST- NATURE

— To determine whether each student has achieved


specific skills or concepts.

— To find out how much students know before instruction


begins and after it has finished.

— Measures specific skills which make up a designated


curriculum.

— These skills are identified by teachers and curriculum


experts.

— Each skill is expressed as an instructional objective. 8


CRITERION-REFERENCED TEST- NATURE

— The performance of other examinees is irrelevant.

— Each skill is tested by at least four items in order


to obtain an adequate sample of student
performance and to minimize the effect of
guessing.

— The items which test any given skill are parallel in


difficulty.

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NORM & CRITERION REFERENCED TESTS

Dimension Criterion-Referenced Norm-Referenced


Tests Tests
Purpose Ø To determine whether each Ø To rank each student with
student has achieved specific respect to the
skills or concepts. achievement of others in
Ø To find out how much broad areas of knowledge.
students know before Ø To discriminate between high
instruction begins and after it and low achievers.
has finished.
Content Ø Measures specific skills which Ø Measures broad skill areas
make up a designated sampled from a variety of
curriculum. These skills are textbooks, syllabi, and the
identified by teachers and judgments of curriculum
curriculum experts. experts.
Ø Each skill is expressed as an
instructional objective.
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NORM & CRITERION REFERENCED TESTS

Dimension Criterion-Referenced Norm-Referenced


Tests Tests
Item Ø Each skill is tested by Ø Each skill is usually
Characteris- at least four items in tested four items.
tics order to obtain an Ø Items vary in difficulty.
adequate sample of
student performance Ø Items are selected that
and to minimize the discriminate between
effect of guessing. high and low achievers.
Ø The items which test
any given skill are
parallel in difficulty.

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NORM & CRITERION REFERENCED TESTS

Dimension Criterion-Referenced Norm-Referenced


Tests Tests
Score Ø Each individual is Ø Each individual is
Interpre- compared with a preset compared with other
tation standard for acceptable examinees and assigned a
achievement. The score--usually expressed
performance of other as a percentile, a grade or
examinees is irrelevant. equivalent score.
Ø A student's score is Ø Student achievement is
usually expressed as a reported for broad skill
percentage. areas, although some
norm-referenced tests do
Ø Student achievement is
report student achievement
reported for individual
for individual skills.
skills.

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COMPARING NORM &
CRITERION-REFERENCED TESTS
• Norm-referenced • Criterion-referenced
– General ability – Mastery
– Range of ability – Basic skills
– Large groups – Prerequisites
– Compares people to – Affective
people-comparison – Psychomotor
groups – Grouping for instruction
– Selecting top
candidates

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ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CRT
Advantages
— Students are not competing with each other
— Students are thus more likely to actively help each other
learn.
— A student's grade is not influenced by the caliber of the
class.
Disadvantages
— It is difficult to set a reasonable standard for students
— Most experienced faculty set criteria based on their
knowledge of how students usually perform
— Criterion-referenced systems often become fairly similar to
norm-referenced systems.
— absolute standards difficult to set in some areas
— standards tend to be arbitrary 14