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What is the effect of an interruption during the middle of testing on students’ scores and how do we handle this?

One important consideration for testing interruptions is when to resume testing. Similar to the “summer effect,” students may take a week or more to settle back into the classroom routine once school resumes after an extended break. Although completing your testing may be a priority, we recommend that you do not resume testing until students have had enough time to adjust to being back in the classroom.

If your online Test Event automatically closed while students were away, you can reopen and resume testing when you are ready. If testing had barely started when your program was interrupted, you can zero out any completed subtests and give all students the opportunity to start over.

Additionally, educators have expressed concerns about the effect of testing interruptions on normative scores. The grade-based scores for the Iowa Assessments, Logramos, and CogAT are reported based on Fall, Midyear, or Spring normative data. The effective date of scoring is determined by the Test Event date for online testing or the date specified on the Order for Scoring Services (OSS) for paper and pencil tests submitted to Riverside Scoring Service. Testing dates from March 1st to July 31st are scored using Spring normative data. Scoring tests using any date between March 1st to July 31st will result in the same spring norms being applied, so any delays in your testing program will not impact the interpretability of grade-based scores.

The age-based scores for CogAT are reported in one-month age intervals. For instance, a student born anytime in October 2011 and scored using an April 2020 effective date of scoring will be scored using an age of 8 years, 6 months. Shifting the scoring date back to March results in the student being scored with an age of 8 years, 5 months; shifting the scoring date ahead to May scores the student with an age of 8 years, 7 months.

In most cases, it will not be advisable to shift the effective date of scoring for your CogAT testing. A one or two month shift in the date of scoring will have a negligible impact on most students’ age scores. Additionally, maintaining an earlier date in scoring gives students the greatest benefit, because expectations for performance are higher the greater the student’s age when scored. The exception is when little to no testing occurred before the interruption. If at least half of your students finished their CogAT testing prior to the interruption, we recommend maintaining the original effective testing date of scoring.

For paper and pencil testing, specify the most reasonable midpoint for your extended testing window on your OSS when shipping documents for scoring. You may want to adjust the date depending on whether most of the testing was conducted prior to or after the interruption to your testing program.

What does a year without scores do to our longitudinal data?

Your longitudinal data will still trend to measure student growth and progress over time. The robust vertical scale underlying the Iowa Assessments and Logramos enables score comparisons over varied periods of time including within and between school years, as well as across multiple school years.

If your planned spring testing was cancelled, the best practice is to test students upon their return to school in the fall. This will enable teachers to more effectively plan instruction and make program placements once school resumes while also maintaining your longitudinal data. For this fall administration, you might choose to use the test level that students would have taken the previous spring. As National Percentile Ranks (NPR) are affected by norming periods, please see the next section for information if you choose to test in the fall with spring information. National Standard Scores (NSS) and Grade Equivalents (GE) can also be used to track longitudinal progress. You can return to your normal testing schedule with students testing again the following spring with no ill effect to your longitudinal trend.

Can we postpone our testing?

Yes, but please review the section on testing interruptions above and consider the 'summer effect' that occurs when there is an extended break in schooling.

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