WP15 Score Reporting: Where Policy Meets Psychometrics

Developing score reports for credentialing programs requires balancing various stakeholders’ needs for information and professional standards for reporting examination results. It is imperative that these reports appropriately communicate the results of an examination in a way that encourages proper interpretation and minimizes the likelihood of misinterpretation. The purpose of this white paper is to offer practitioners guidance on designing and evaluating score reports along with examples of various practices from programs within the industry.

The first section of the paper discusses the expectations of each major stakeholder group that represents a key interest in the outcomes of the credentialing program, including candidates, employers, educators/training programs, and credential program staff. This review highlights the various potential uses and interpretations of the information provided on the score reports, including expectations dictated by professional standards and guidelines.

The second section of the paper provides guidance on the design of the score report, including both the content to incorporate and its presentation format at the test and section (e.g., content area and subarea) levels. Each option will be presented in the context of professional guidance and applicability to various intended uses of test results.

Finally, the third section of the paper includes guidance on planning for score reporting. Programs should discuss these plans at the outset of the test development process to ensure the test is designed to facilitate the intended interpretation of test scores. 

Meet the Authors

Dr. Davis-Becker is a Senior Psychometrician and the Director of Professional Credentialing at Alpine Testing Solutions. Susan is responsible for providing psychometric advice and consultation to a variety of testing programs and her areas of expertise include test design, standard setting and validity research. Susan received her doctoral degree in assessment and measurement from James Madison University and has published numerous journal articles, book chapters and presented research at regional, national, and international conferences.

Jeff Kelley completed a PhD in educational measurement at the University of Kansas in 2004.  He joined the National Center for Competency Testing in 2012 as Vice President of Psychometrics, charged with development, validation and security for seven allied health certification tests.  Before joining NCCT, Doctor Kelley worked as Director of Psychometrics for six years at Ascend Learning dealing with nursing education and allied health certification testing.  Prior to that, he worked for nine years in licensure and certification testing as a research associate and as a program director with Applied Measurement Professionals.  His research interests include item writing, test security, and test score reliability.  

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