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Standard setting for the listening subtest on a university ESL placement test

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Title: Standard setting for the listening subtest on a university ESL placement test
Authors: Yang, Wei-Wei
Advisor: Brown, James D.
Issue Date: 2007
Abstract: Standard setting and the cut point(s) produced from the activity clearly affect peoples’ lives to different degrees and in various life situations. In most assessment situations, especially in high-stakes ones, an inappropriate or unfair cut point derived from the standard setting process may pose threats and cause harm to people’s financial condition, social status, health, psychological and mental state, etc. For example, an unreasonably high cut point for a high school graduation test may deprive many good students’ of the right to get their high school diploma. On the other hand, an overly low cut point in this case may grant many unqualified students a school diploma that they do not deserve. As another example, consider an unjustified and unreasonably low cut point for a doctor licensure test, which may certify candidates who are not ready to practice yet and are likely to misdiagnose or mistreat the patients, or an unreasonably high cut point that may rule out those who are ready and qualified. Neither policy makers nor ordinary people want the above scenarios to happen. Therefore, standard setting deserves proper attention and all necessary effort, through which we hope to obtain reasonable and defensible cut points that can truly reflect the performance levels and can put people into the “right” categories.
Pages/Duration: 26 pages
Appears in Collections:SLS Papers

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