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A Summary of Guidelines for Test Users

Costello, Sandra; Weiss, David A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Educational Policy, Guidelines, Professional Associations, School Districts, Standards, State Standards, Surveys, Test Interpretation, Test Publishers, Test Use


This paper reports the results of a survey conducted in the spring of 1981 that was designed to collect and summarize guidelines on appropriate test use from the various organizations, agencies, and associations involved in standardized educational testing. The primary objective of the study was to learn how these various groups define the issues of appropriate test use and to summarize what they had to say about each of the issues. The first section provides an overview of the materials received from the organizations contacted, while the second section provides abstracts that describe the contents of the documents received. Out of 418 organizations contacted, 40 percent responded to the letter, 21 percent returned some form of document, and 8 percent provided documents that contained guidelines for appropriate test use. A checklist was implemented to review each document, with the following results: (1) Almost all organizations provided guidelines in the category of test score interpretation; (2) The purpose of testing examples of misuse, and procedures for monitoring compliance received less emphasis than interpreting test scores; and (3) Test selection, test administration, scoring tests, communicating results, handling test data, and qualifications of test users received the least attention. Limitations of the survey are also discussed. (AUTHOR/EGS). (164pp.)

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