A norm-referenced test (NRT) is a type of test, assessment, or evaluation which yields an estimate of the position of the tested individual in a predefined population, with respect to the trait being measured.‎Common uses · ‎Other types · ‎Advantages and limitations. Norm-referenced assessment. Definition. Assessment that compares test-taker performances to each other, i.e. when students' scores are ranked from low to. Criterion-referenced assessment. Norm-referenced assessment. Measures a student's performance based on mastery of a specific set of skills. It measures.


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Norm-referenced tests are a good way to compensate for any mistakes that might be made in designing the measurement tool.

Norm-referenced assessment

For example, what if Ricki's math test is too easy, and everybody aces it? If it is a norm-referenced test, that's Norm referenced evaluation because you're not looking norm referenced evaluation the actual scores of the students but how well they did in relation to students in the same age group, grade, or class.

Criterion-Referenced But, norm-referenced tests aren't perfect. They aren't completely objective and make it hard to know anything other than how someone did in comparison to others.

Norm-referenced test - Wikipedia

But, what if we want to know about a person's performance without comparing them to others? A norm referenced evaluation test is scored on an absolute scale with no comparisons made.

It is interested in one thing only: Let's go back to our race scenario. Saying that a runner came in third place is norm-referenced because we are comparing her to the other norm referenced evaluation in the race.

But, if we look at her time in the race, that's criterion-referenced. Saying she finished the race in A test is criterion-referenced when the performance is judged according to the expected or desired behavior.

Norm-referenced test

Tests that judge the test taker based on a set standard e. The goal of a criterion-referenced test is to find out whether norm referenced evaluation individual can run as fast as the test giver wants, not to find out whether the individual is faster or slower than the other runners.


Standards-based education reform focuses on criterion-referenced testing. In this norm referenced evaluation, it is possible for all test takers to pass or for all test takers to fail.

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Advantages and limitations[ edit ] The primary advantage of norm referenced evaluation tests is that they can provide information on how an individual's performance on the test compares to others in the reference group.

A serious limitation of norm-reference tests is that the reference group may not represent the current population of interest.


As noted by the Oregon Research Institute 's International Personality Item Pool website, "One should be very wary of using canned "norms" because it isn't obvious that one could ever find a population of which one's present sample is a representative subset. Most "norms" are misleading, and therefore they should not be used.

Far more norm referenced evaluation are local norms, which one develops oneself. For example, if one wants to give feedback to members of a class of students, norm referenced evaluation should relate the score of each individual to the means and standard deviations derived from the class itself.

To maximize informativeness, one can provide the norm referenced evaluation with the frequency distribution for each scale, based on these local norms, and the individuals can then find and circle their own scores on these relevant distributions. Another disadvantage of norm-referenced tests is that they norm referenced evaluation measure progress of the population as a whole, only where individuals fall within the whole.