Aligning Test Scoring Procedures with Test Uses: A Balancing Act

Test scoring procedures should align with the intended uses and interpretations of test results. In this paper, we examine three test scoring procedures for an operational assessment of early numeracy, the Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA). Current test specifications call for subscores to be reported for each of the eight subtests on the EGMA. This test scoring procedures has been criticized as being difficult for stakeholders to use and interpret, thereby impacting the overall usefulness of the EGMA for informing decisions. We examine the psychometric properties including the reliability and distinctiveness of the results and usefulness of reporting test scores as (1) total scores, (2) subscores, and (3) composite scores. These test scoring procedures are compared using data from an actual administration of the EGMA. Conclusions and recommendations for test scoring procedures are made. Generalizations to other testing programs are proposed.