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Criterion-Referencing, Norm-Referencing, and the SAT SAT

Angoff, William H.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Criterion Referenced Tests, Measurement Techniques, Norm Referenced Tests, SAT, Test Construction


This is a discussion of the values and uses of norm-referenced and criterion-referenced tests, appropriateness and usefulness of each, the overlap of their appropriateness and usefulness, and the frequent confusion between the two. The definitions, origins and requirements of various "criterion-referenced" scales, including the SAT scale, are presented. The necessity of the stability of a measure, whether it be the inch or the SAT scale, in order to have useful meaning in terms of our experiences, is noted. The author explains the reasonableness of interpreting SAT scores as both norm-referenced and criterion-referenced, and the lack of conflict in such an interpretation.

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