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Standardized Testing

The term standardized testing is variously understood. For instance, some equate standardized testing as the delimiter to college entrance and predictor of academic success, whereas others see these examinations as sociocultural gatekeepers, testing only a limited portion of the schooling experience. This entry describes typical standardized tests, takes a brief look at their history, and summarizes their pros and cons.


No precise definition of standardized testing has been agreed on, and debate as to the meaning of the term continues. However, over the years, academic researchers have suggested that standardized tests are different from other forms of assessment in that they contain all of the following characteristics: (a) they are interpreted with reference to a norm group, (b) administration occurs under standard conditions, (c) they are ...

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