Norm-Referenced Tests

The design of anorm-referenced test allows it to measure performance by utilizing anindividual’s comparative position in a particular population. Itshows whether the participants are worse or better than an assumedaverage target group. The performance is determined by making acomparison between new scores against those of a statistically chosenset (Lahrmann, 2011). The population of a norm-referenced test istypically composed of individuals of the same grade or age level andthey must have already participated in the exam.


As a form of standardizedexamination, norm-referenced tests are designed for infantsand young children.They are useful since knowing a young person’s raw score may notoffer comparative statistics based on how other peers performed onthe same assessment. Furthermore, norm-referenced tests provideimportant data concerning a child’s stage of development in theparticulars that the evaluation covers. This form of assessmentavails a guide for estimating the changes in various aspects of achild including growth as well as the impacts of a program (Neisworth&amp Bagnato, 2014).

Processof administration

The test-makers begin bytaking a section of the target population of children. The exam isissued to the few individuals who are supposed to exemplify the wholegroup. The performances and average scores and are then documentedwith regards to the tallies of the norming group. For easycomparison, the evaluator develops an exam in which the results canultimately portray hypothetical scores. In other words, an examinercreates a test that can allow most of the students to achieve almostthe average marks. Scores are stated as percentile grades and theyrange from the first to 100th percentile. In some situations,tallies are reported as equivalents of grades or equivalents of anormal curve. In simple terms, a test taker compares a child’sperformance with that of a known set of peers (Sparrow &amp Davis,2016). A norm offers a suggestion of typical or average ability of anidentified group of children.

Applicationof Test Results

Norm-referenced tests arecharacteristically designed to provide both objective and normativeinformation. In this perspective, the resultant normative factsinclude scale scores, grade equivalents, normal curve equivalents,and percentile ranks. On the other hand, objective performance isstated as percentiles of maximum percentage scores based on the aimsof the test. While normative tallies allow a test giver to relateentities and populations with the performance at the national levels,objective scores compare an individual child to an assumed mean.Collectively, the scores make it easy to plan the agenda for aparticular program and instructions for different students. Insituations where the test results are correctly used, the informationcan be used by administrators for various purposes. It may help inreducing testing durations, increasing the significance of thecurriculum, and creating assurance in the national examination(Lahrmann, 2011).

Conclusively, norm-referencedtests ensure ease in comparing performance in children. Wheneverthere are few opportunities, it is advisable to use standard examscreated to rank learners so that there is fairness in isolatingchildren who are qualified for a role. Norm-referenced tests are aquick depiction of most of the topics that students are expected tolearn. They are comparatively economical and easy to apply (Sparrow &ampDavis, 2016). More importantly, if they are regarded as bestmechanisms for standardized testing and much significance put onthem, it would be easy to reduce biases in assessments.


Lahrmann, G., (2011). Businessof Intelligence Maturity: Development and Evaluation of a Theoretical Model. In SystemSciences (HICSS), 2011 44th Hawaii International Conference on(pp. 1-10). IEEE.

Neisworth, J. T., &ampBagnato, S. J. (2014). The Mismeasure of Young Children: TheAuthentic Assessment Alternative. Infants&amp Young Children,17(3),198-212.

Sparrow, S. S., &amp Davis,S. M. (2016). Recent Advances in the Assessment of Intelligence and Cognition. Journalof Child Psychology and Psychiatry,41(1),117-131.