A standardized assessment is administered and scored in a consistent, or “standard,” manner each time the assessment is given. Standardized tests are designed such that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are always consistent from child to child from time to time. In judging the quality of a standardized assessment, validity (does it test what it says it tests) and reliability (does it do it every time) are typically viewed as essential elements.

Many people erroneously assume that standardized testing means high-stakes tests, with multiple choice, computer-scored answers; limits on time for completion; and comparison-based percentile scores. Any test given in the same manner to all test takers is a standardized test. Standardized tests can be low-stakes or high-stakes tests, may or may ...

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