Students throughout elementary and high school will undoubtedly be faced with tests. Whether informal teacher-made tests, or formal standardized tests, students will continually be assessed. Many of these tests are important as they are indicators of skill, intelligence and an overall assessment of knowledge.

Educational Achievement Tests

Achievement tests are an important part of elementary and high school education as a tool to determine what students have learned. Achievement tests are designed to assess a test-taker’s knowledge in certain academic areas.

Consider the word achievement, and that is precisely what these kinds of tests measure. An achievement test will measure your achievement or mastery of content, skill or general academic knowledge.

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Achievement tests can be both standardized and formal, but they can also be summative, non-standardized assessments made by the teacher. Either way, these types of assessments will measure your achievement or mastery of the content. Achievement tests focus on your previous learning and knowledge.

Kaufman Achievement Test

The Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA-3), is an achievement test for young children. This test measures a student’s knowledge and ability in the areas of math, reading, written language and oral language. The test comes in two forms: Comprehensive Form and Brief Form. The third edition was published in 2014.

The KTEA-3 is a statistically sound instrument. The overall reliability of the KTEA-3 is 0.87 to 0.95 and the test-retest score is above 0.90 which is considered the strongest. The KTEA-3 is also well correlated with other standardized achievement tests including the Peabody Individual Achievement Test, Wechsler Individual Achievement Test and the Standford Achievement Test.

KTEA Comprehensive

The KTEA-3 Comprehensive is a more complete, in-depth achievement test that covers a larger range of abilities. The KTEA-3 Comprehensive assesses letter and word recognition, math computation, spelling, reading comprehension, math concepts and applications and written expression.

KTEA Brief

The KTEA-3 Brief is a shorter, more succinct version of the achievement test. It is administered one-on-one to one individual student at a time. The KTEA-3 Brief is intended to assess individuals ages ranging from kindergarten through 25.

The KTEA-3 Brief takes less time to administer as it is made up of a few sub tests from the comprehensive version. The KTEA-3 Brief assesses reading, math and written language.

Strengths of KTEA

As with any standardized achievement measure, there are strengths and weaknesses. A strength of the KTEA-3 includes its ability to assess a student’s progress. The KTEA-3 measures progress throughout response to intervention to determine accurately how well, or not, the interventions are working for individual students. Additionally, the test can be used to identify the presence of a learning disability.

Additionally, the KTEA-3, as a standardized measure, can be an accurate reflection of a student’s ability and knowledge. The structure of a standardized test eliminates the existence of teacher bias. Lastly, especially the KTEA-3 Brief, is an efficient assessment to administer.

Weaknesses of KTEA

One weakness associated with the KTEA-3 has to do with the oral language and verbal assessment. While the test is standardized, students who have had limited exposure to new vocabulary may not score well on that part of the test. In this case, the outcome of the assessment may not be an accurate reflection of the student’s true ability.

There are general weaknesses associated with most standardized tests. As noted, sometimes standardized tests do not accurately measure a student’s true potential or ability. This is most often recognized as the exposure gap between students of different socioeconomic groups.

The lack of exposure, whether associated with poor-performing schools or lack of exposure at home, has the potential to put these students at a disadvantage for performing well on standardized achievement tests, including the KTEA-3.

About the Author

Melanie Forstall has a doctorate in education and has worked in the field of education for over 20 years. She has been a teacher, grant writer, program director, and higher education instructor. She is a freelance writer specializing in education, and education related content. She writes for We Are Teachers, School Leaders Now, Classroom, Pocket Sense, local parenting magazines, and other professional academic outlets. Additionally, she has co-authored book chapters specializing in providing services for students with disabilities.