Norm-Referenced Tests

Norm-referenced tests yield scale scores that permit comparison of local test takers' performance to the test scores of specified groups (i.e., reference populations). The statistical tabulations of the reference population's test scores are considered the norms, and they serve as the basis for interpreting the local test takers' relative standing. Percentiles, percentile ranks, and normal standard scores are examples of relative scale score systems. In the context of educational evaluation, norm-referenced tests have been used when there was a justification for comparing local program outcomes to districtwide, regional, or national norms.

Charles L.Thomas

Further Reading

American Educational Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education. (1999)Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
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