What is the Difference between Criterion-Referenced and Norm-Referenced Testing?
These terms relate to how the results of an assessment are presented. Criterion-referenced means the test relates to some sort of established unit of measure. DORA is criterion-referenced because it reports in grade level equivalent scores. For example, John’s phonics skills are low 4th grade level. Norm-referenced is a percentage ranking compared to an average population. For example, Johnny is at 45th percentile. This means if you took 100 students and ranked them from top to bottom, Johnny would be 45 from the bottom. So higher is better. Average is 50. Most state tests which are accountability tests are norm-referenced.
Tags: norm referenced, criterion referenced, assessment