A Parent’s Guide to Standardized Tests and Scores

Judging a child by his/her test scores is like looking at an elephant through a keyhole. You’re getting only part of the picture. Most educators agree that no single test score can define a child.

The focus must not be what a child knows on a particular day but with their growth over time. Teachers and parents are in a much better position to judge that!

Whether or not you agree with these forms of testing, here is a guide to what the tests are and what the score means:

Test results are a confusing mix of numbers and letters. Here’s a helpful key:

NS: NATIONAL STANINE: Short for standard nine, this score divides test results into nine groups, with one given to the lowest scores and nine to the highest. A score of six is high average.

GE: GRADE EQUIVALENT: Compares your child with the grade and month when that score would be average. For example, a grade of 5.3 means that your child scored as well as a typical fifth-grader in the third month of school.

NP: NATIONAL PERCENTILE: Tells you how your child’s score compares with the group of students on whom the test norm was based. The 68th percentile means she scored higher than 68 percent of the students. Generally, above the 75th percentile is considered very good and below the 25th is cause for concern

This entry was posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 12:51 pm and is filed under Children's Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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