Examples of Standardized Tests

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  • 0:01 Standardized Tests
  • 1:11 SAT
  • 2:38 Stanford-Binet…
  • 3:48 GED
  • 4:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Andrew Diamond

Andrew has worked as an instructional designer and adjunct instructor. He has a doctorate in higher education and a master's degree in educational psychology.

In this lesson, you'll learn about some of the most common examples of standardized tests. Through examples, you'll explore some of the basic functions of standardized testing and how they are commonly used.

Standardized Tests

Standardized testing has become a rite of passage in the world. Who among us can say that we haven't taken a standardized test, let alone multiple ones? From an early age we are exposed to them. Preschoolers frequently take tests to determine if they have learning disabilities or are gifted. K-12 students take the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 4th, 8th, and 12th grade. Going to college all but requires you take the SAT or ACT. We are truly inundated with standardized testing.

In order to understand these tests we need to define standardized testing. A standardized test is one that has equivalent questions and is scored and administered in a routine way. Questions have been determined to be equivalent through testing to cover the same material and be the same difficulty. The testing process will always be the same and it is scored the same way. These tests are as standard and routine as they get.

To better understand these tests let's look at a few common examples.


Once known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the SAT is one of the most well-known and commonly administered standardized tests in the United States. Most high school juniors and seniors take the SAT or the PSAT (Preliminary SAT), as it is a common requirement for admission to college. The test contains three sections: critical reading, mathematics, and writing. Each section has a scoring range of 200-800 for a possible range of 600-2400 points. Each section consists of multiple-choice questions with the writing section also requiring a short essay and mathematics having 'grid' style questions.

The value of the SAT comes from its usage in college applications. Nearly all higher education institutions will accept SAT scores in their admissions process, with many requiring a minimum score to gain admission. Numerous studies have shown that SAT score is highly correlated with grade point average in college, so when looking for future successful college students, a high SAT score is a good sign. As of 2006, the average SAT combined score was a bit over 1500. This means that if you scored 1500, approximately 50% of people scored higher than you and 50% of people scored lower than you.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale

What most of us mean when we refer to an IQ (or intelligence quotient) test is the Stanford-Binet test. First developed in France in the very early 20th century by Binet and Simon, the test was modified by Stanford psychologist Lewis Terman to become the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. In the ensuing 100 years the test has become one of the best-known standardized tests worldwide and the preeminent measure of cognitive ability.

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