In any context standardized tests usually consist of a question series. These usually come with multiple choice formats with several answer possibilities. These tests can be taken by several participants and are usually graded by machines. The tests are usually designed to test as per certain parameters. Standardized tests are usually designed to measure progress in different school grades. It is also the format in which entrance tests are held these days for high schools as well as colleges. Students are assessed as per their abilities and programs are offered to them as per the performance in these tests.
Scope of tests
Many people criticize the narrow scope of these standardized tests. Educators as well as parents often argue that these tests cannot measure abilities in a fair manner. Standardized tests have become the norm in many entrance tests akin to industrial pressure calibration techniques. The tests have certain common features.
Conduction of tests
Usually standardized tests are conducted on paper, or could be held through computer networks. Test takers need to provide an answer to a question or a problem that is posed. Usually there are answers provided in multiple choice formats and one is required to choose the answer that they think is correct. Often the answers are easy to choose, but in certain high levels of tests one might have to do background calculations or show logical reasoning by which the answers are arrived at. Standardization has become the norm, even in the case of pressure calibration techniques in industries.
Scoring of tests
The distinct advantage of standardized tests is that these can be easily graded. Analysts can look at a large sample of tests and arrive at comparative grades, which is rampant in the case of competitive exams. In case these tests are used in measuring progress in school, the standardized tests can be used to measure the performance of students of a certain grade across schools. For these reasons standardized tests are used in case of school finishing exams at regional or state levels when a standard platform needs to be provided to test and grade students who wish to graduate.
Format of tests
The format of the standardized tests often differs. There might be cultural biases that are embedded in these tests. Hence, if outsiders of a certain culture attempt these tests as in the case of international qualifying tests, they might face problems. Hence, tests need to be analyzed and made objective by removing offensive terms and biases. Again, standardized tests tend to cover simplistic knowledge and skills and cannot be designed to capture performance on all levels like critical thinking, deductive logic or other reasoning skills. Hence, these tests are suited for certain types of evaluation, but not in all cases.