Batteries vs. Individualized Assessment Approaches. Pros Essay

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¶ … batteries vs. individualized assessment approaches. Pros and cons of each

The use of test batteries vs. individualized assessments

Psychological testing is crucial for many population groups, particularly children with specialized needs. Adults may also be subjected to tests in efforts to assess their vocational suitability or other traits necessary in the workplace. Approaches to assessment tend to fall into two basic categories: giving children or adults a broad range of tests in the form of a standardized test battery or using individualized one-on-one assessments to gain a holistic picture of students' or other types of test taker's strengths and weaknesses

Test batteries

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Test batteries are series or groups of standardized tests that are designed to present a holistic portrait of an individual's aptitude or mental state. They are divided into different sections to test specific content areas or areas of cognitive strength or deficit. Because of their quantitative nature, these types of tests are normed on a large selection of individuals, yet the norms for the different parts of the battery are based on data from the same sample of subjects, to ensure consistency. Batteries offer a comparative and comprehensive view of the subject's psyche. For example, the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery -- Third Edition (WJ III) WJ III has been called a "multi-level approach to the understanding of broad and narrow abilities" (Rickman 2010). The test examines the student's Comprehension-Knowledge (Gc), Fluid Reasoning (Gf), Short-Term Memory (Gsm), Long-Term Retrieval (Glr), Processing Speed (Gs), Visual-Spatial Thinking (Gv), and Auditory Processing (Ga). "These broad intellectual abilities have also been referred to as Central Processing Skills" (Rickman, 2010).

Essay on Batteries vs. Individualized Assessment Approaches. Pros and Assignment

By testing a wide range of specifically targeted content areas a typical battery-type assessment allows the student's educational program to be fine-tuned, even while the test also offers a generalized portrait of the individual when all of the batteries are viewed in tandem. The approach allows scores to be compared with those of the normed groups used to create the test. This can be useful to gain a quick, general view of a candidate's suitability for a particular type of educational program or job.

The standardized nature of batteries also enables various strengths and weaknesses of the test-taker to be tracked over time in a consistent fashion. It is consistent with a popular theory of psychometrics known as Cattell-Horn- Carroll (CHC) theory of intelligence which suggests: "the structure of intelligence can be discovered by analyzing the interrelationship of scores on mental ability tests. To develop these models, large numbers of people are given many types of mental problems" (McGrew, 2002, 2.2). Test batteries allow these types of 'factors' to be tested individually, and then viewed in terms of the holistic relationships.

Individualized assessment

Individualized assessment tends to be more costly than standardized assessment batteries. A trained assessor is required to be present to evaluate the subject's academic abilities, perception, sensory-motor skills, memory, attention, logical reasoning and/pr communication skills. In contrast, many individualized assessments can be… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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