Standardized tests in Illinois

Better Essays
Standardized tests are administered to allow reliable and valid comparisons to be made among students taking the test. Two major types of standardized tests are currently in use; norm-referenced and criterion-referenced. A norm-referenced test is a test that has been given to representative samples of students such that norms of performance are established. Each student taking the test receives a score that can be compared to the norm or normal or sample of students. The scores are then reported in percentiles. The main purpose of these tests is to rank students along a distribution of performance. Because of this tests are likely to have items that are very difficult for the grade level so students can be ranked. A criterion-referenced test looks like a norm-referenced test but multiple choice items are used and directions are standardized. The reason these tests are administered is based upon the content that all students are expected to learn. Scores are based on the amount learned by the student and a passing score is then given. These scores are not compared to other students. Standardized tests are used to show how a student is doing. They can show if a program is working well and can show if the educators are using effective teaching methods. Schools are graded to see if there overall program is helping the student to achieve their goals. In the next paragraphs I am going to explain to you about the purpose of the American College Testing Program (ACT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
“Learned helplessness is a phenomenon containing three components: contingency, cognition, and behavior. Contingency addresses the uncontrollability of the situation. Cognition refers to the attributions that people make regarding their situation or surroundings of which they are a part. Behavior allows individuals to decide whether they will give up or proceed with the obstacle set before them” (Peterson, Maier, & Seligman, 1993; Firmin, Hwang, Copella, & Clark, 2004). When a student thinks about college he must take either the ACT or the SAT test to be admitted into the college. Students have a lot of decisions to make that can be stressful. Failure is an aspect that students fear and can determine whether they will succeed in life.
The ACT was founded in 1959. A l...

... middle of paper ...

...t you are allowed to guess on the ACT and on the SAT if you are unsure you want to leave it blank because getting it wrong will give you a lower score.
If you are graduating high school in 2006 and beyond there will be a new SAT test. The test will contain three sections: Math, Critical Reading, and Writing. The math section will have 44 multiple-choice questions and 10 in-grid questions. You will be allowed 70 minutes to complete this section. The critical reading section will have 67 multiple-choice questions and you will be given 70 minutes to complete. The writing section has 49 multiple-choice questions and you are given 60 minutes. You are graded on Grammar, usage, and word choice.
“The need, as we view it, is to develop a number of different alternative evaluation instruments and strategies that provide hard data but are not in the form of the standard paper-and pencil multiple-choice tests now being used in most testing programs. What we advocate are assessment instruments that support proven methods in the visual arts and also take advantage of all the newer imaging technology” (Medeja, Dom, & Sabol, 2004).
Get Access