Score

How Score is Determined

Uses

Potential Drawbacks

Raw Score

By counting the number (or
calculating a percentage) of correct responses or points earned.

Often used in teacherdeveloped
assessment instruments.

Scores may be difficult to interpret
without knowledge of how performance relates to either a specific
criterion or a norm or group.

Criterionreferenced Score

By comparing perfoomance to one or
more criteria or standards for success.

Useful when determining whether
specific instructional objectives have been achieved. Also useful
when determining if basic skills that are prerequisites for other
tasks have been learned.

Criteria for assessing mastery of
complex skills may be difficult to identify.

Age or Grade Equivalent (normreferenced)

By equating a student's performance
to the average performance of students at a particular age or grade
level.

Useful when explaining
normreferenced test performance to people unfamiliar with standard
scores.

 Scores are frequently misinterpreted, especially by parents.
 Scores may be inappropriately used as a standard that all
students must meet.
 Scores are often inapplicable when achievement at the
secondary level or higher is being assessed.
 Do not give a typical range of performance for students at
that age or grade.

Percentile Rank (normreferenced)

By determining the percentage of
students at the same age or grade level who obtained lower scores.

Useful when explaining
normreferenced test performance to people unfamiliar with standard
scores.

Scores overestimate differences near
the mean and underestimate differences at the extremes.

Standard Score (normreferenced)

By determining how far the
performance is from the mean (for the age or grade level) with
respect to standard deviation units.

Useful when describing a student's
standing within the norm group.

Scores are not easily understood by
people without some knowledge of statistics.
