Caveat Emptor

Less frequently discussed is the possibility that certain test preparation advice may be detrimental for some examinees. For example, some examinees may score lower when test preparation focuses on writing a generic five-paragraph essay when the assessment rewards creative responses. Also, advice to examinees to read the test items before reading the passages may be counterproductive if doing so causes them to fail to finish a timed reading comprehension exam.

Standards Related to Test Preparation

Test developers should be aware of the following standards (Table 28.2) related to test preparation. The standards in Table 28.2 are grouped according to contents of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA et al., 2014).

Table 28.2 2014 Standards Related to Test Preparation

2014 Standard

Notes

Validity

Standard 1.7: If test performance, or a decision made therefrom, is claimed to be essentially unaffected by practice and coaching, then the propensity for test performance to change with these forms of instruction should be documented (AERA et al., 2014, p. 24).

Essentially unchanged from 1999 Standard 1.9 (see AERA et al., 1999, p. 19).

Test Administration, Scoring, Reporting and Interpretation

Standard 6.5: Test takers should be provided appropriate instructions, practice, and other support necessary to reduce construct irrelevant variance (AERA et al., 2014,

p. 116).

Elements from 1999 Standard 3.5 are addressed in the comments section of 2014 Standard 6.5 (e.g., instructions to test takers about forming responses, including use of equipment and software; see AERA et al., 1999, p. 19).

2014 Standard

Notes

Standard 6.7: Test users have the responsibility of protecting the security of tests at all times (AERA et al., 2014, p. 117).

Very similar to 1999 Standard 11.7 (see AERA et al., 1999, p. 115).

The Rights and Responsibilities of Test Takers

Standard 8.0: Test takers have the right to adequate information to help them properly prepare for a test so that the test results accurately reflect their standing on the construct being assessed and lead to fair and accurate score interpretations (AERA et al., 2014, p. 133).

Touched upon in the introduction to Chapter 8 (see AERA et al., 1999, p. 85).

Standard 8.1: Information about test content and purposes that is available to any test taker prior to testing should be available to all test takers. Shared information should be available free of charge and in accessible formats (AERA et al., 2014, p. 133).

Very similar to 1999 Standard 8.1 (see AERA et al., 1999, p. 85).

Standard 8.2: Test takers should be provided in advance with as much information about the test, the testing process, the intended test use, test scoring criteria, testing policy, availability of accommodations and confidentiality protection as is consistent with obtaining valid responses and making appropriate interpretations of test scores (AERA et al., 2014, p. 134).

Very similar to 1999 Standard 8.2 (see AERA et al., 1999, p. 86).

The Rights and Responsibilities of Test Users

Standard 9.2: Test users have the responsibility to respect test copyrights, including copyrights of tests that are administered via electronic devices (AERA et al., 2014, p. 148).

Similar to 1999 Standard 11.8 (see AERA et al., 1999, p. 115).

Psychological Testing and Assessment

Standard 10.7: Prior to testing, professional and test administrators should provide the test taker, or appropriate others as applicable, with introductory information in a manner understandable to the test taker (AERA et al., p. 165).

Standard 10.18: Professionals and others who have access to test materials and test results should maintain the confidentiality of the test results and testing materials consistent with scientific, professional, legal, and ethical requirements. Tests (including obsolete versions) should not be made available to the public or resold to unqualified test users (AERA et al., 2014,

p. 168).

Similar to 1999 Standard 11.9 (see AERA et al., 1999, p. 115).

Educational Testing and Assessment

Standard 12.7: In educational settings, test users should take steps to prevent test preparation activities and distribution of materials to students that may adversely affect the validity of test score inferences (AERA et al., 2014, p. 197).

Very similar to 1999 Standard 13.11 (see AERA et al., 1999, p. 148). Further, elements of 1999 Standard 15.9 appear in comments section of 2014 Standard 12.7 (e.g., eliminating practices that raise test scores without improving performance on the measured construct; see AERA et al., 1999, p. 168).

 
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