00002263.doc - Correlation and consistency in reasoning...

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Correlation and consistency in reasoning test scores over time Dr Steve Strand Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association, University of Exeter, England, 12-14 September 2002 Address for Correspondence Dr Steve Strand, Senior Assessment Consultant, nferNelson The Chiswick Centre, 414 Chiswick High Road LONDON W4 5TF Tel: (020) 8996 8414 e-mail: [email protected] Keywords : Reasoning ability, correlation, stability, change, consistency, school effects, value added
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CORRELATION AND CONSISTENCY IN REASONING TEST SCORES OVER TIME ABSTRACT UK schools have a long history of using reasoning tests, most frequently of Verbal Reasoning (VR), Non Verbal Reasoning (NVR), and to a lesser extent Quantitative Reasoning (QR). Results are used to identify students’ learning needs, for grouping students, for identifying underachievement, and for providing indicators of future academic performance (Fernandes & Strand, 2000). Despite this widespread use there is little data on the long term consistency of VR, QR and NVR as discrete abilities. This study compares the performance of over 10,000 pupils who completed the Cognitive Abilities Test Second Edition (CAT2E) in year 6 (age 10+) and year 9 (age 13+) and GCSE public examinations in year 11 (age 15+). The results reveal very high correlations in scores over time, ranging from .87 for VR to .76 for NVR, but also show around one-quarter of pupils on the VR test and one-third of pupils on the QR and NVR tests changed their scores by eight or more standard score points. Schools accounted for only a small part of the total variation in reasoning scores, although they accounted for a much greater proportion of the variation in measures of attainment such GCSE. School effects on pupils’ progress in the reasoning tests between age 10 and age 13 were relatively modest. Some practical and policy implications for schools are discussed. Correlation and consistency in reasoning ….. Page 2
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CORRELATION AND CONSISTENCY IN REASONING TEST SCORES OVER TIME INTRODUCTION UK schools have a long history of using tests to assess students’ reasoning ability. Reasoning tests attempt to assess the perceiving of relationships among abstract elements and symbols. They differ from attainment tests in that the test material is not intended to be a sampling of what is taught to any particular age group in school, rather it attempts to minimise the effect of specific curricular experience. The tests use general, not specialised, knowledge that individuals in a particular age group could have acquired from a broad variety of experiences in or out of school. The basic test elements are kept relatively simple, clear and familiar with the intended emphasis on discovery of relationships and flexibility of thinking. The most frequently used tests are of Verbal Reasoning (VR), Non Verbal Reasoning (NVR), and to a lesser extent Quantitative Reasoning (QR). Verbal tests use symbols representing words, QR tests use symbols representing numbers or quantities, while NVR tests use symbols representing spatial, geometric or figural patterns.
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  • Spring '11
  • online
  • Standard Deviation, Statistical significance, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, NVR

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