Chapter 12: Assessment

Online Lesson Contents



Upon completion of this section the learner will:

  • Describe the use of norm-referenced tests, competency-based assessments, teacher-made tests, and criterion-referenced tests in inclusive settings.
  • Identify and implement strategies to modify test formats to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
  • Compare and contrast curriculum-based measurement, performance assessment, and portfolio assessments, and their applications for students with special needs.
  • Describe specific test-taking strategies for taking standardized tests, and explain how these strategies can be taught.
  • Design and implement strategies for taking teacher-made tests such as multiple choice, true-false, matching, and essay tests.
  • Identify procedures and rationales for modifying grading and scoring of tests for students with special needs.

Go to Part 2- Summary of Ideas

Go to Lesson Contents



Part 2: Summary of Ideas type of test is no "better" than another, because different tests serve different purposes. As a teacher, it is critical to understand what information specific tests provide, and what information they do not provide.



Many types of tests are used in education; however, all tests must possess reliability and validity to be useful.

Norm-referenced testing compares the score of an individual with the scores of other students in a standardization sample.

Modifications in standardized tests or administration procedures may detract from the validity of the test. However, such modifications as teaching test-taking skills, enhancing motivation, and enhancing examiner familiarity may improve test validity without compromising standardization.

Competency-based testing assesses the skill levels of students and is being used more frequently in schools. Some modifications in these tests may be appropriate for students with special needs.

Teacher-made tests can be modified to obtain a clearer picture of student performance without detracting from the test itself. Modifications can be applied to a wide variety of test formats.

Curriculum-based measurement is an excellent means of documenting the progress of all students, including students with disabilities or other special needs. Curriculum-based measurement allows the teacher to make instructional decisions as instruction is going on.

Performance assessment serves to evaluate student competence with respect to particular instructional units. Because it focuses more on doing than writing or speaking, it may be particularly suited for diverse classrooms of students.

Portfolio assessment is a means for obtaining information from student products and other sources on an ongoing basis. It is a particularly valid form of assessment that also has direct applications to some students with disabilities.

Explicit instruction on general strategies to improve test performance, such as academic preparation, physical preparation, reducing anxieties, and increasing motivation, can improve the test performance of students with special needs.

General strategies for improving standardized test performance include using separate answer sheets, using time wisely, elimination, and guessing strategies. Test-taking strategies for specific types of subtests can also improve standardized test performance.

Test-taking strategies for teacher-made tests include strategies for taking objective tests, written tests, including fill-in-the-blank, short-answer, and essay tests.

Some other test-taking strategies, such as SNOW, SCORER, PIRATES, and ANSWER, have been successfully taught to students with special needs and have improved their performance.

Modifications can be made in grading and scoring the work of students with special needs. These modifications can be applied on report card grades, homework, and seatwork.

Go to Part 3- Chapter Activities

Go to Lesson Contents



Chapter Activities

Tests must be administered appropriately and interpreted correctly or they can do more harm than good..




Read Chapter 12 in the text. Use the Chapter 12 Graphic Organizer to "see" the big ideas in the chapter. Fill in blank sections of the graphic organizer.


Examine the following World Wide Web links and consider their perspectives based on information from Chapter 12. Print out useful information and add it to your class notebook.


Content Standards for California Public Schools


Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators: Assessment & Rubric Info


Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment
Ideas and Rubrics



Go to Lesson Contents


 | General Info | Online Lessons | Interactive Pages |