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Scales, Norms, and Equivalent Scores

Angoff, William H.
Publication Year:
Book; Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Testing Problems, Test Interpretation, Norms, Scaling, Equated Scores


This book originally appeared as Chapter 15 in the second edition of Educational Measurement, edited by R. L. Thorndike and published by the American Council on Education (ACE) in 1971. In the spring of 1983,William Angoff was granted permission by ACE to submit the chapter elsewhere because the volume was out of print and would not be reprinted. Educational Testing Service expressed willingness to serve as publisher. Republication of the chapter, “Scale, Norms, and Equivalent Scores,” provides a continuing reference for those students of psychometrics who are interested in and occupied with the very important area of test standardization and its subareas of scale definition, score interpretations, and equating. The original intent was to offer an integrated description of the state of the art by covering the various, sometimes fugitive viewpoints, methods, and techniques of test standardization. Thus, the chapter was meant to serve as a handy reference to ideas scattered through an extensive psychometric literature. As it turned out, it also served as a useful guide to the theory and methods of score equating, a subject of burgeoning interest in the 1970s. Along with other chapters of the Thorndike book, it also probably served to punctuate the end of an era in which classical test theory was giving way to the newer item response theory as a way of thinking about and operating with test scores.

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