Why are norm-referenced scores important?

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Comparison to peer groups

It is important to understand how your group of test takers compares to selected external comparison groups.  For example, data about the comparison of your group to  the population of comparable regional or national peer groups is valuable.

Different groups of test takers have very different performance levels and therefore their scores differ quite a bit on scientifically developed measures of cognitive ability.

Evaluating relative strength

Insight Assessment’s comprehensive comparison percentile norms give our clients a powerful tool to evaluate the relative strength of the performance of their test-takers and to guide the creation of learning outcomes goals.

Our critical thinking skills test reports provide individual and group analytics on key components of critical thinking strength that can be benchmarked against a variety of external comparison groups.

  • Graphic showing sample Overall Distribution on CCTSTNorm-referenced scores bring value to assessment data.  Test scores without comparison percentiles are essentially one dimensional; while you can compare individual test scores to other members of your group, you are not able to determine the relative strength of the group in comparison to others in the population
  • Norm-referenced scoring brings dimensionality to statistics. The true value of data is revealed when you are able to relate the scores of your individual test-takers or entire group to appropriate comparison groups. Mean scores from different institutions vary widely, depending on the institution or agency. The comparison of your individual and group scores to a similar national or regional sample of test-takers will give you a way to judge the relative strength of your test takers and your programs. For example, if your group of test-takers’ mean Overall score is at the 50th percentile in relationship to a group of similar test-takers, then you would know that your group is performing as well, on average, as the national population of students in their group.
  • Reviewers, such as accrediting bodies, recognize the benefits of external benchmarking and often require this evidence as an indicator of organizational effectiveness or as documentation for self-studies.
  • Researchers use norm-based references to analyze long term performance progress against learning outcome goals or to assess effectiveness of educational programs.

Selecting the best test instrument

When you implement a testing program, it is important that you gain the full value of assessment data by selecting the best test instrument with the strongest norm sets.

Insight Assessment offers  validated, objective assessments of critical thinking skills and mindset for students at all levels from K-12 through graduate professional programs.

Contact us to learn how you can maximize testing program data.

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