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Reliability reflects the degree to which a test or other procedure produces a consistent measurement across repeated trials. For example, in most situations, a GPS (Global Positioning System) device yields a more reliable measurement of walking distance than a pedometer. A reliable test of mathematics would give a similar score to a particular individual who took the same test on consecutive days. An unreliable test might indicate that an individual was proficient one day and substandard the next. While reliability applies to measurement procedures of all sorts, this entry focuses on the reliability of tests in an educational context.

Ensuring high levels of test reliability is important for at least three reasons. First, reliable tests are required to ensure that remedial and other services are offered ...

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