Assessment in the Classroom: Factors that Cause Poor ISV

Factors that Cause Poor ISV

Getting students to apply and demonstrate their true level of proficiency while taking assessments is a challenge for every classroom teacher. If we think the student is not demonstrating their best, their scores will reflect a low individual score validity (ISV), which needs to be factored in to evaluation scores.

So how can you identify instances of students not applying their true level of proficiency? Our researchers have long been working on this challenge, and have established and refined some criteria for classifying low ISV scores.

Some interesting findings from this research:

+ Boys have low ISV scores twice as often as do girls.

+ Low ISV scores appear on reading tests more often than on math tests, mainly because of the perceived effort required to read a longer question.

+ Low ISV scores are more common in the fall than during spring testing. While counter-intuitive, there are more demands on students toward the end of the school year, resulting in possible burnout.

+ Low ISV scores increase with grade level. In fact, we found that 1 percent of MAP(R) scores in grade 2 show low ISV scores, while nearly 15 percent of low scores prevail in grade 9.

+ Low ISV scores increase during the course of the day with late afternoon nearly double that of morning tests.

While student engagement is a factor in their performance on all educational assessments and tests, what can we do about it? If you’d like some ideas, then head on over to our SPARK Community and read the blog by NWEA Research Fellow Steven Wise. He shares some things that educators can do and some things that NWEA is doing to address this concern.

As always, we’d love your thoughts and insights. What have you done to help improve student engagement during educational assessments and tests, and did it work?



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