The 2nd Spring Forum will take place in:
1. Thessaloniki, on the 7th of April, at the Grand Hotel Palace
2. Athens, on the 20th and 21st of April at the Hilton Hotel
The Spring Forum’s central theme is:
• Certification trends
Cut scores are selected points on the score scale of a test. The points are used to determine whether a particular test score is sufficient for some purpose. For example, student performance on a test may be classified into one of several categories such as basic, advanced or proficient, on the basis of cut scores.
The setting of cut scores on widely used tests in educational contexts requires the involvement of policymakers, educators, measurement professionals, and others in a multi-stage, judgmental process. Cut scores should be based on a generally accepted methodology and reflect the judgments of qualified people.
Every test is only a sample of all the questions that could be asked. Test takers are not likely to be equally knowledgeable about all of the legitimate questions that could be asked, so test form to test form differences are likely. Day-to-day fluctuations in students’ attention, memory, luck in guessing and so forth are also expected.
Students with similar scores on a test tend to be similar in what they know about the tested subject. Most tests cannot distinguish well between students with scores that are very close to one another. Students with scores just above the cut score and students with scores just below the cut score are classified differently. What this means is that students who score near the cut score may pass or fail a test because of random fluctuations.
The more reliable a test is, however, the less likely it is that the scores will be affected by large random fluctuations.
Representatives from Exam Bodies operating in Greece will answer the following questions:
1. Many exam bodies have introduced computer-based versions of their tests which are administered in a secure environment. Will computer-based tests become more popular than paper-based ones in the near future?
2. Computer-based tests are more cost effective. Do you consider lowering the fees?
3. Does the cut score fluctuate from one session of the exam to the other? Is it due to the fact that items are analysed and their performance is measured after the exam administration?
4. How do you ensure that your exams are valid and reliable? What processes are in place to ensure validity and reliability?
5. Are your exams pretested? How important do you think it is?
6. Are you aware of the uses to which your exam results are put? Do you think the uses made of your tests are fair?
7. What would you advise Foreign Language School Owners to do with borderline candidates, which seem to constitute the vast majority of test-takers in Greece taking into account that students’ test scores shape the reputation of schools and the communities they serve?