Standardized testing is an objective way of measuring achievement in skills and ability. It provides important diagnostic information about the student, and can assist teachers by highlighting areas to focus on in classroom instruction. The data gathered from such tests can be used to help provide intervention, remediation or placement for the student and give feedback to the teacher regarding effective teaching methods and evaluation. Both the SAT Reasoning Test and the Standford Achievement Test are utilized to provide information about the student's skills, but each has a different focus.

SAT Reasoning Test

The SAT Reasoning Test is a college readiness test that assesses a student's skills in three subject areas: mathematical reasoning, critical reading and writing. The test also includes a variable section. The variable section addresses one of the subject areas, but is a non-scored section implemented for reliability and validity purposes. The test is mainly multiple-choice with some sections requiring essay responses. The time allotted for the test is three hours and 45 minutes.

Stanford Achievement Test

The Stanford Achievement Test is utilized in the public school setting for students at all levels. The purpose of the test is to evaluate a student's academic progress. The test consists of six subject areas: reading, mathematics, language, writing, listening and science. The test includes both multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The test is not timed and there are thirteen grade levels available for testing students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

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The SAT Reasoning Test and the Stanford Achievement Test are both standardized assessments that measure a student's abilities in identified subject areas. The tests both summarize the student's skill levels and they provide all stakeholders -- parents, administration and students -- with valuable information. The tests are implemented in a similar manner, with instructions provided at the beginning of each section, and they overlap in some subjects, with both tests including math, reading and writing assessments.


The SAT Reasoning Test is a college admissions requirement for those students choosing to attend college. It is scored on a scale from 200 to 800. Information on the SAT Reasoning test is used by admissions offices to determine acceptance into college. The Stanford Achievement Test is used for students in any year who are attending a public school district, and it is scored utilizing percentile scores and grade equivalent levels. The Stanford is used by school administrations to assess not only student knowledge, but also remediation needs, and is not a factor in college acceptance.

About the Author

Susan Henrichon has more than 25 years of experience in education. She has taught special education and possesses administrative experience in the public school setting. She holds a Master of Education in special education from Westfield State University and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in educational administration from the University of Massachusetts.