Different evaluation systems allow one to get a more comprehensive understanding of the knowledge that a person acquired. Therefore, it is essential to consider the specific features of both systems and a group in which the results are evaluated to interpret the outcomes correctly. The criterion-referenced scores and norm-reference scores differ significantly in the strategies of test result interpretation, which provides a different outlook on a person’s knowledge.
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Within the criterion system, a set of predetermined scores is set up. Upon completion, the results of testing are compared to these standards, which provides an assessment of knowledge in comparison to a particular learning goal.
From one perspective, this system allows categorizing individuals based on their understanding of the material. Norm-reference scores, on the other hand, aimed to evaluate an individual’s proficiency in comparison to that of others. Bradley (n.d.) states that the primary feature of such tests is that a norm group is collected, for instance, based on grade or age. Thus, to carry out such analysis, a group of people has to participate that has similar characteristics.
In situation 1, a student is evaluated based on the norm model, which means that test scores are compared to that of other children in the school and districts. The two differ, thus, this student has a variance in performance. Scenario 2 indicates that the overall performance of the group was low when compared to a predetermined standard, while scene 3 suggests the opposite. The 4th scenario presents outcomes that indicate a good knowledge of the material both based on standard criteria and when compared to the results in the school district. Overall, a sound grading system incorporates both systems, allowing a student to determine his or her knowledge based on set criteria and when compared to the performance of others.
Bradley, K. (n.d.). Difference between criterion-referenced & norm-referenced tests. Web.