Jump to content

Menu

How accurate are standardized test scores


Recommended Posts

I got my DD's ITBS scores back recently, and I'm wondering about how much to read into the results.

 

When the test says her overall grade equivalent (GE) is 5.6, does that really mean she's at the level of a child in the second semester of fifth grade? Really?? I look at the work she does for me at home, and it's just... not anywhere close to what I would expect a fifth grader to be doing. I know asynchronous development means that she could be intellectually far ahead of her maturity and fine motor skills, and this is definitely true, but it just feels like the test might be over-inflating things? For example, she got a perfect score on the vocabulary section, which wasn't a surprise to me, but I looked over the test and I don't feel like the words asked on the test in any way put her at an almost 8th grade level. I think she probably does have a vocabulary at least at that level, but the words asked on the test just weren't seventh grade words, you know? Seems like a GE of 7.9 is a major leap based on the vocab tested. So is GE more of a figurative measurement, or does it really mean equivalent to that grade level?

 

I did have an ah-ha moment when looking at the national percent correct figures. It seems the test is designed so that the national percent correct on any individual section is between 40 and 60%. Assuming that translates to the test as a whole, I actually maybe understand now how why testing is so traumatic for so many children. If the average child doesn't know half the items on the test, that's got to be stressful and demoralizing. I guess as a child when I took the test, I assumed that other children thought the test was about as easy as I did. Obviously now as an adult I realize it's not that way, but I guess I thought the tests were graded on the curve, so to speak. That the difference between a 25th percentile child and a 99th percentile child in terms of percent correct on the actual test was really not that much.

Edited by Dealea86
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't believe that is how those type tests work. When they say 7.9 it means that most kids would not get all of the words she was given correct until they were at the end of 7th grade - not that she was tested on any 7th or 8th grade words. So a 5.6 means she scored as a fifth grader would be expected to score on the information at the grade level to which you tested.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't believe that is how those type tests work. When they say 7.9 it means that most kids would not get all of the words she was given correct until they were at the end of 7th grade - not that she was tested on any 7th or 8th grade words. So a 5.6 means she scored as a fifth grader would be expected to score on the information at the grade level to which you tested.

 

Correct.  It is extrapolated from a normalized sample across all grade levels.  You can see a lot of info about it on the Iowa site:

 

http://itp.education.uiowa.edu/ia/InterpretingResults.aspx

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to laugh sometimes at the reading level tests one of our son's schools does.  One of the report cards came home with him reading at something like a 7th grade level in 3rd grade.  We just had to chuckle because all he wanted to read was Foxtrot and Calvin and Hobbes, and he wouldn't touch chapter books unless they had pictures.

 

This year one trimester was something like 8th grade, then the next it was 6th......  It does adjust the difficulty based on correct answers, so maybe that introduces a lot of variation but it was pretty far apart.  

 

IBTS is probably not quite like that--paper with no adjustment for correct answers, but it is interesting how different sittings can have different scores.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...