10. The authors of your textbook discuss the interpretation of norm-referenced scores. List and describe the interpretation of each score.

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Q.The authors of your textbook discuss the interpretation of norm-referenced scores. List and describe the interpretation of each score. Confine your answer to one page.

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Interpreting Norm-Referenced Scores

The score a student receives when a test has been scored according to the directions is called the raw score. On a classroom test, this is typically the number of items a student answers correctly. Although raw scores are used in classroom testing, the interpretations and comparisons made with standardized tests require that the raw scores be converted to some type of derived score. Comparison of performance on two different tests (e.g., reading and math), for example, require that both tests be on the same scale. Raw scores won’t work because the two tests may differ in the number of items in the test and the difficulty of the items. By converting both sets of raw scores to the same derived score scale, we provide a common basis for comparing relative performance. Although there are many different types of derived scores, the most common types used in school achievement testing are

1. Percentile ranks.

2. Grade equivalent scores.

3. Standard scores.

The raw scores on a standardized test are converted to derived scores during the norming of the test. Attempts are made to obtain norm groups that contain a sample of students like those for whom the test is intended. National norms, for example, typically include students from the various geographic regions of the United States, urban and rural schools, and schools of different size. A balance of boys and girls, socioeconomic levels, and ethnic groups is also sought. Thus, national norms should approximate as closely as possible the student population throughout the United States. The same care is typically also followed in obtaining regional, state, and special group norms (e.g., private schools). Despite the care in obtaining norm groups, however, the obtained sample of students only approximates the ideal sample, due to such constraints as the needed cooperation of selected schools to administer the tests and the time limits for obtaining the norm sample.

After the norm groups have been selected and the tests administered and scored, the raw scores are converted to derived scores and presented in the test manual in tables of norms. These tables present the raw scores and derived scores in columns so that a raw score can be converted into a derived score by going across the parallel columns from the raw score to the derived score. Of course, the printout from machine scoring will give both the raw score and the derived score.

Before using the derived scores from a standardized test, it is wise to consider the nature of the norm group. Does the norm group provide a relevant basis for interpreting student performance? How was the norm group obtained? When were the norms obtained? We can obtain the most meaningful norm-referenced interpretation of test scores when the norms are relevant, representative, and up to date.

A final caution. The scores in the norm group should not be viewed as goals or standards. They are simply the scores that a representative group of students have earned on the test. They aid in interpreting and comparing test performance, but they do not represent levels of performance to strive for. They are average or typical scores obtained in average or typical schools.

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