To select a standardised test which will provide the information required in the most efficient manner, consider who you are testing and why you are testing, i.e. what is the purpose?
1. Read the manual thoroughly to learn exactly what the test claims to do.
2. Check that the test validity and reliability meet minimum standards.
Validity is a test characteristic that determines the extent that the test measures what it claims to measure and/or that the test can predict performance on other measures.
Reliability refers to the consistency in tests. Specifically, it is a correlation coefficient describing the extent to which two applications of the same test would rank an individual in the same way.
3. Adhere to all testing conditions as detailed in the manual. If the conditions are not adhered to, the results of the test will be invalid. Conditions include using the original test forms and strictly following the administration instructions and any provided script.
4. Be familiar with all of the test materials and practice using them.
5. Make the physical setting for testing reasonably free from obvious distractions. Ensure adequate lighting and heat. Always post a ‘do not disturb’ sign.
6. Take the time to establish a good rapport with the pupil(s).
7. Explain the reason for the testing to the pupil(s) as simply as possible. It may relax the pupil(s) by explaining that the test results will help you to help them.
8. Encourage, without helping, according to the manual guidelines.
9. Don’t yield to the temptation to teach. While the results will inform future teaching, never directly teach specific test items.
10. Be aware of possible test fatigue and problems due to attention span length and distractibility.
11. Be aware of the possibility of human error in correcting and in scoring. Always double check your calculations and the use of results tables.
12. Be careful of interpretation; don’t over interpret. Be guided by the manual.
In addition, when administering individual tests,
13. Where relevant, be aware of base and ceiling levels. These tell you where to begin testing and when to stop.
14. Be aware of expected responses and how they are to be recorded.
15. When testing do not let the pupil(s) see the recording sheet.
16. Record responses accurately. Do not tape responses without the pupil(s) permission.