Standardized Test Scoring

Test standardization is a process by which teacher or researcher-made tests are validated and item analyzed. After a thorough process of validation, the test characteristics are established. These characteristics include: test validity, test reliability, test difficulty level and other characteristics as previously discussed. Each standardized test uses its own mathematical scoring system derived by the publisher and administrators, and these do not bear any relationship to academic grading systems. Standardized tests are psychometric instruments whose scoring systems are developed by norming the test using national samples of test-takers, centering the scoring formula to assure that the likely score distribution describes a normal curve when graphed, and then using the resulting scoring system uniformly in a manner resembling a criterion-referenced approach. If you are interested in understanding and interpreting the scoring system of a specific standardized test, refer to the policies of the test’s producers.

Cumulative and Averaging Systems of Grading

In the Philippines, there are two types of grading systems used: the averaging and the cumulative grading systems. In the averaging system, the grade of a student on a particular grading period equals the average of the grades obtained in the prior grading periods and the current grading period. In the cumulative grading system, the grade of a student in a grading period equals his current grading period grade which is assumed to have the cumulative effects of the previous grading periods. In which grading system would there be more fluctuations observed in the students’ grades? How do these systems relate with either norm or criterion-referenced grading?

The K to 12 Grading System: Reproduced from DepEd Order No. 31, s. 2012

Levels of Proficiency

At the end of the quarter, the performance of students shall be described in the report card, based on the following levels of proficiency:

    • Beginning — The students at this level struggles with his/her understanding; prerequisite and fundamental knowledge and/ or skills have not been acquired or developed adequately to aid understanding
    • Developing — The student at this level possesses the minimum knowledge and skills and core understandings, but needs help throughout the performance of authentic tasks.
    • Approaching Proficiency — The student at this level has developed the fundamental knowledge and skills and core understandings and, with little guidance from the teacher and/or with some assistance from peers, can transfer these understandings through authentic performance tasks.
    • Proficient — The student at this level has developed the fundamental knowledge and skills and core understandings, and can transfer them independently through authentic performance tasks.
    • Advanced — The student at this level exceeds the core requirements in terms of knowledge, skills and understandings, and can transfer them automatically and flexibly through authentic performance tasks. 

The level of proficiency at which the student is performing shall be based on a numerical value which is arrived at after summing up the results of the student’s performance on the various levels of assessment. The numerical values are as follows:

What shall appear in the report card is not the numerical; value, but the equivalent level of proficiency, abbreviated as follows:

B      for Beginning;
D      for Developing;
AP    for Approaching Proficiency
P      for Proficient; and
A      for Advanced.

Final Grade

At the end of the four quarters, the Final Grade for each learning area shall be reported as the average of the four quarterly ratings, expressed in terms of the levels of proficiency. The general average shall be the average of the final grades of the different learning areas, also expressed in terms of levels of proficiency with the numerical equivalent in parenthesis.

Promotion and Retention of students shall be by subject. Students whose proficiency level is beginning (B) at the end of the quarter or grading period shall be required to undergo remediation after class hours so that they can immediately catch up as they move to the next grading period. If by the end of the school year, the students are still at the Beginning level, they can shall be required to take summer classes.

As a matter of policy every learning deficiency should be bridged even for those students whose level of proficiency is above the Beginning level. The guidelines for bridging gaps in learning are in separate DepEd Order.

Honor students shall be drawn from among those who performed at the Advanced Level. Subsequent guidelines shall be issued as basis for ranking of honors.

The total time daily does not include off-school learning experiences that teachers may require outside of school hours for the production of products and performances as evidence of transfer of learning. 

Culminating Resources Activities/Performances

At the end of the every quarter, schools are encouraged to put up exhibits of student product across subjects as culminating activity. Students may also do an exhibition of their performance in different subjects as evidence of their learning or attainment of performance standards. Thus, when parents receive the report card and confer with teachers they will actually be witnessing what students are learning in school.