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How do language programs validate their placement instruments?

For the majority of the programs responding, test validation was essentially a process of giving the test to current students and looking at the results. Since piloting was the most common form of cut score setting, and since relatively few programs reported performing item analyses, it is likely the case that most programs considered a test valid if current students performed more or less as expected in terms of total scores. Although this is certainly an important quality of a placement test, a more thorough validation procedure would give the potential for a better placement process.

Martyn Clark 2004-12-21