Defining a test score can be difficult but it basically mean an information that is majorly a number that always shows the performance of person who under took a test. It thus shows the scores that a person had in a test. It can also mean a summary of the performance of the examinees responses towards items of the construct that is measured.
There are two types of test scores namely the raw scores and the scaled scores. The raw score which is the is what the examines got without necessarily making any adjustments on it while a scaled score refers to the results of all the possible transformations that could have taken place on the raw scores of the examinee. Competency on the other hand refers to the level at which a person is comparable to the other concerning the construct under comparison. It can be used as a means of grading students or examinees according to their abilities.
TEST SCORE VERSUS COMPETENCIES IN SCHOOLS
It is possible that we can use the test scores for indicating the competencies in schools. This can only be possible when we have the assumption that school is basically to nurture the students’ intelligence and all other activities are secondary. Irrespective of the way of nurturing, irrespective of the conditions, the fact remains that the students are in school for academic purposes.
Depending on the definition that one will give competency in school, we can either approve this fact or not. For instance if one considers competency in terms of the academics alone then we will be in order to say so. However, when we put into consideration competency in a larger picture we find that the test scores do not show anything the student behaviors, the performances in the extracurricular activities, the school conditions and the welfare of the students at large. If we put all these into consideration, we find that there are factors that do attribute either directly or indirectly to the performance of the students. What could make a student not to perform to his or her standards are many. But if all these conditions are put constant, why should we deny that we can use the test scores?
Secondly, can we consider the tests as the overhaul of what the student is? Can we use the tests to show that certain are half the other in terms of knowledge simply because he or she has got 28% while the other has scored 56%? The competency of the things that the students are taught in classes does not compare to what the student is. May be the student may not be not knowing that specific are? May be he or she had not prepared for the test or may be at the time of the test he or she has psychological problems such as stress which may directly affect the performance of the student? According to this point it is next to impossibility to summarize the possible conditions that the student must show all his or her ability in that test.
If it is possible to use the tests for competencies, where will we group the extra curricular activities? Will we say that they are not part of the school activities? If it is to compete ten we have to engage the whole person, his or her ability in class and outside class. May be one is not able to concentrate much in class and yet he or she comes out the bet in the field, so will we ignore what he does in the field because he failed in the score tests/ after all can you calculate the percentage contribution of the extra curricular activities to class work? These sectors are related and one side simply uplifts the other. When one can learn in the field he or she can transfer this to class. This is the best way to learn. So, if it is competency, it is better to include all the sectors that make up the student and summarize everything to come up with the whole person.
Finally, what can we say about the learning that takes place and is not being examined? Test scores only tests on the facts and theories, what students are being taught. In fact it they may not necessarily cover the whole syllabus but just a section. What of the learning that we usually do without being noticed? It is possible that we can know so much that is not applicable to the class environment but elsewhere they are also very necessary yet, it is through school that one gets to know them?
Another reason why things may not work with the test scores alone is due to the roles that extracurricular activities do in shaping the development of the mind. Without extracurricular activities, may be, people could not even be in schools, one can not live reading.
Thissen, D. and Wainer, H. (2001). Test Scoring. Mahwah: Erlbaum.
Robert S. (2011)Tests to Measure Competencies in Basic Education November 25.
Linda F. (1990) Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis American Educational Research Association Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System
Mitchell D.(2010) High School Competency Determination Student Status: Data Review -March 12.