There are various ways and means to assess student achievement in the numerous educational settings across the United States. Two types or categories of tests are the norm referenced test and the criterion referenced tests. A norm referenced test compares each student that takes the test to another set of students that had previously taken the test. They use percentiles to measure the student that has taken the test and then compare them to other students that have taken the test (curriculum evaluations 2010). At some point a large number of students became the norm score and all other student scores are based on this norm. That is the reason they are called norm referenced tests or assessments. A criterion referenced test will not compare the student scores to other students that have taken the test. This type of test is used to measure the progress of the student that has taken the test. It is often standards based and tests what the teacher has been teaching in the classroom. Two types of tests that are used to assess students is the norm referenced assessments and the criterion referenced tests. Each assessment has its own style and purpose. The following matrix shows the similarities and the differences of each.
| Norm Referenced Tests| Criterion Referenced Tests|
Description| Compare Students Over Large Number of other students| Determine if student has achieved specific skills or concepts| | Gives a measure of achievement that compares student against a group in the same classroom, grade, state, or nation| Measures a student’s performance against the curriculum standards| | | |
Purpose| To Rank each student with achievement of other students| To find out student knowledge before instruction begins| | To rank between low and high achievers| And then to measure knowledge after the instruction.| | | |
Content| Shows skill areas that come from numerous...