Standardized Test

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					STANDARDIZED TEST

     Moh. Aniq Kh.B.
I. INTRODUCTION
        This paper is focused on the discussion of standardized tests. It presents
   everything getting involved with the aims of this subject purposes: to introduce
   the process of constructing, validating, administering, and interpreting
   standardized tests of language; and to acquaint us with a variety of current
   standardized tests that claim to test overall language proficiency.


II. DISCUSSION
   A. The Definition of Standardized Test
            A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a consistent
      manner. The tests are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for
      administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are
      administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.
            A standardized test presupposed certain standard objectives, or criteria,
      that are held constant across one form of the test to another. The criteria in
      large scale-standardized tests are designed to apply to a broad band of
      competencies that are usually not exclusive to one particular curriculum. A
      good standardized is the product of a thorough process of empirical research
      and development.
            This kind of test can be proved or implied in variety of test by states,
      counties, and school districts, but they all share the common objective of
      economical large-scale assessment. For instance, college entrance exams such
      as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) are part of the educational experience of
      many high school seniors seeking further education. The Graduate Record
      Exam (GRE) is required standardized test for entry into many graduate school
      programs. Tests like the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and
      the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT) specialize in particular disciplines. One
      genre of standardized test that we may already be familiar with is the Test Of
      English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), produced by the Educational Testing
      Service (ETS) in the United States and or British Counterpart, the
      International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which features
      standardized tests in affiliation with the University of Cambridge Local
      Examinations Syndicate (UCLES). They are all standardized because they
   specify a set of competencies (or standards) for a given domain, and through a
   process of construct validation they program a set of tasks that have been
   designed to measure those competencies.


B. Advantages of Standardized Tests
        There are some advantages of standardized testing, including:
   1. The results can be empirically documented.
   2. The test scores can be shown to have a relative degree of validity and
      reliability, as well as results which are generalizable and replicable.
   3. Standardized test is aggregation. It means that while individual
      assessments may not be accurate enough for practical purposes, the mean
      scores of classes, schools, branches of a company, or other groups may
      well provide useful information because of the reduction of error
      accomplished by increasing the sample size.
   4. A ready-made previously validated product frees the teacher from having
      to spend hours creating a test.
   5. Administration to large groups can be accomplished within reasonable
      time limits.


C. Disadvantages of Standardized Tests
   1. Standardized tests can't measure initiative, creativity, imagination,
      conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment,
      nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable
      dispositions and attributes. What they can measure and count are isolated
      skills, specific facts and function, content knowledge, the least interesting
      and least significant aspects of learning.
   2. The use of tests is inappropriate. For example, using an overall proficiency
      test as an achievement test simply because of the convenience of the
      standardization.
   3. The standardized tests include the potential misunderstanding of the
      difference between direct and indirect testing in which some standardized
      tests include tasks that do not directly specify performance in the target
      objective.
D. The Process of Test Development
        In this point, three different standardized tests will be used to exemplify
   the process of standardized test design: (a) the Test of English as a Foreign
   Language (TOEFL), Educational Testing Service (ETS), (b) the English as a
   Second Language Placement Test (ESLPT), San Fransisco State University
   (SFSU), (c) The Graduate Essay Test (GET), SFSU.
        It is a paramount importance to understand the process of the
   development of the standardized tests that have become ingrained in our
   educational institutions.
   1. The purpose and the objective of test
      a. The purpose of TOEFL is to evaluate the English proficiency of people
          whose native language is not English.
      b. The ESLPT is designed to place already admitted students at San
          Fransisco University in an appropriate course of academic writing,
          with the secondary goal of placing students into courses in oral
          production and grammar editing.
      c. The GET is given to prospective graduate students both native and
          non-native speakers in all disciplines to determine whether their
          writing ability is sufficient to permit them to enter graduate level
          courses in their programs.
   2. Designing of test specifications
      a. TOEFL is designed to define the construct of language proficiency.
      b. The designing of test specifications is a somewhat simpler task because
          the purpose is placement and the construct validation of the test
          consisted of an examination of the content of the ESL courses.
      c. GET is the skills of writing grammatically and rhetorically acceptable
          prose on a topic of some interest.
   3. Designing, selecting, and arranging test tasks/items
      a. TOEFL test design specifies that each item be coded for content and
          statistical characteristics.
      b. The selection of items in the ESLPT entailed two entirely different
          processes. In the two subsections of the test that elicit writing
          performance, the main hurdler were selecting appropriate passages for
       test takers to read, providing appropriate prompts, and processing data
       from pilot testing.
   c. The GET prompts are designed by a faculty committee of examiners
       who are specialists in the field of university academic writing.
4. Specifying scoring procedures and reporting formats
   a. TOEFL scores are calculated and reported for three sections of the
       TOEFL (the essay ratings are combined with the structure and written
       expression score), a total score (range 40 to 300 on the computer-based
       TOEFL and 310 to 677 on the paper and pencil TOEFL), the essay
       (range 0 to 6).
   b. The ESLPT reports a score for each of the essay sections, but the rating
       scale differs between them because in one case the objective is to write
       a summary and to write a response to a reading.
   c. GET is read by two trained readers who give a score between 1 and 4:
       Superior, Competent, Weak, Inadequate.
III. CONCLUSION
        From our discussion, we can conclude the following points:
    A. A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a consistent manner.
       The tests are designed in such a way that the "questions, conditions for
       administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are
       administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.
    B. A standardized test, in this case, is specified into TOEFL, ESLPT, and GET
       test with their on characteristics of the purposive design.
                                  REFERENCES


Brown, Douglas H. 2004. Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices.
   New York: Pearson Education, Inc.


Harris, David P. 1990. Testing English as a Second Language. New York:
   Georgetown University Press.


Heaton, J.B. Writing English Language Test. Singapore: Ban Wah Press Pte Ltd.


Larsen-Freeman, Diane. 2000. Techniques and Principle in Language Teaching
   (second edition). New York: Oxford University Press.

				
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Description: It presents everything getting involved with the aims of this subject purposes: to introduce the process of constructing, validating, administering, and interpreting standardized test of language;