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Assessment Research

Today many adult education and training programs administer standardized tests. Performance on standardized tests is now the basis for key funding and policy decisions at all levels of education. All standardized tests have specific procedures that test administrators must follow to ensure comparable measurements whenever students take the test.

There are many factors that contribute to ensuring a test provides accurate student assessment. Two critical factors are test reliability and test validity.

What is test reliability?

Test reliability indicates the degree to which a test yields consistent results. Statistical techniques determine reliability and help ensure that there would not be a radically different score if the student were to attempt the test a second time with no additional learning.

No test is perfectly reliable, but proper test construction methods can do much to eliminate the chances of inaccurate student placement or inaccurate measurement of student progress.

What is test validity?

Test validity indicates the degree to which a test actually measures what it proposes to measure. If a test claims it is able to measure the ability to understand spoken English, then it should measure that ability. There are different types of test validity, and each type answers a different question about whether the test measures what it claims to measure.

Are CASAS tests standardized? Are they reliable and valid?

CASAS offers numerous tests for a variety of purposes. Each is a standardized assessment instrument that has undergone rigorous statistical procedures to ensure reliable and valid results. In addition to traditional methods to determine reliability and validity, CASAS also employs item response theory (IRT) in the construction of both its item bank and associated tests.

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