Journal for Language Teaching

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A norm for an academic literacy placement test

Johann L van der Walt, Faans (HS) Steyn


A test series usually consists of various versions of a test. Test-takers and consumers of tests expect all these versions to be at the same level of difficulty, but this is very difficult to achieve at the test design stage. In this article we suggest that the establishment of a norm for test results may be a practical solution to this problem. We  illustrate how a norm can be established by investigating historical data from an Afrikaans test of Academic Literacy (TAG) and then proposing a formula to standardise results whenever a new version is written. This can easily be done by using a program such as Excel. This will enable test administrators to treat test-takers equally and fairly whenever decisions about them have to be taken.

Keywords: academic literacy test; test level; norm; standardisation
AJOL African Journals Online