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Criterion-referenced interpretation is the interpretation of a test score as a measure of the knowledge, skills, and abilities an individual or group can demonstrate from a clearly defined content or behavior domain. It is often defined as a contrast to norm-referenced interpretation, where an individual’s score only has meaning when it is compared to other individuals’ scores. Criterion-referenced interpretations are independent of information based on how the average person performs. This entry further describes criterion-referenced interpretation and its uses, then discusses the design and validation of tests that foster criterion-referenced interpretation. The entry concludes with a look at common misconceptions about criterion-referenced interpretation.

Criterion-reference interpreted scores have been used for a variety of decisions, such as monitoring student achievement, evaluating efficacy of instructional programs, granting licensure ...

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