There are several assessment methods used in schools. Some of them include dynamic, curriculum based, Portfolio-Based or alternative assessment, anecdotal records, observation, rating scales, classroom quizzes and tests, standardized testing and self-report techniques. However, standard based assessment is the most widely used in the United States of America and the world at large. Standardized test is a kind of a test that is given and scored in a “standard” or consistent manner (Joint Committee on Educational Assessment, 2008). Standardized tests are formulated tests with consistency in questions, environment for administering, procedures of scoring and interpretations. Standardized testing has a long history. Despite the various advantages of standardized testing the method has received various critism and alternative methods of proposed (Phelps, 2007).
Standardized testing has varied histories depending on the individual countries. In the United States of America for example standardized testing has its roots in the twentieth century. Specifically, this method of testing in America originated in the First World War. The proponents of standardized tests during this period were Robert Yerkes and colleagues who developed the Army Alpha and Beta tests. Today standardized testing remains the most commonly used kind of test in United States of America (Powell & Shklov, 2005).
Standardized tests are designed in several ways. Some of them are can be essay or short answer type. The short answer type standard tests include the true or false and multiple choice questions. The later are mostly used standard tests. This is because they administered and marked easily and quickly (Joint Committee on Educational Evaluation, 2006). The work of marking these questions was also made easy by the advent and popularization of computers. Computer adaptive testing or special answer sheets are used by the computer to easily mark these questions. On the other hand essay questions have certain rules and guidelines that determine the grades given to each the response.