Norm-Referenced Interpretation

When norm-referenced standardized tests are administered to students, the results are reported in a way that permits comparisons with a well-defined group (i.e., a norm group) of other students who have taken the same assessment. The primary difference between criterion- and norm-referenced scores is that with norm-referenced test scores, interpretations of individual student scores are entirely dependent upon the performance of other students. Norm-referenced tests and their resulting scores provide data that assist educators in answering the following questions:

  • What is the relative standing of this student across this broad domain of content?
  • How does the student compare to other similar students?

This entry will explore the various types of norm-referenced scores, which include raw scores, percentile ranks, developmental/growth scores, grade equivalent scores, age equivalent scores, and standardized ...

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