Secondly, designers of norm-referenced tests should pick the content taught in the many schools, in the country. This is especially in the case of nationwide or district-wide examinations.
Essay questions, true or false tests, matching questions, definition and open-ended questions are examples of criterion-referenced tests. They measure a student’s level of competence based on a preset standard without comparing him or her with peers. The objectives of the course and the curriculum inform the setting of criterion-referenced tests. These tests are most helpful when they measure students’ ability in given areas. There exists a need to ensure high validity and reliability of these tests. Firstly, designers of these tests should ensure that they pick the content matching the objectives of the course and the standards of the curriculum (Popham, 2008). A big cluster around the high end of the grading system shows many students met the standards. Secondly, the designers of these tests should suspend their biases. Bias-free tests are fair to all students regardless of gender, ethnic background, race and socio-economic status.
High-stakes tests are another group of tests besides norm-referenced tests. The outcomes of these tests serve to make important decisions in people’s lives. A licensure examination is an example of a high-stakes test. This is because the results of the examination help decide the possibility of an examinee getting a permit to practice as a professional nurse (Kubiszyn & Borich, 2007). Because the results of high-stakes tests determine whether individuals get permits to do something or not, they need high reliability and validity. Speed tests measure the rate at which individuals can perform a given task. The test measures the speed of performance only and not the knowledge of individuals.
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