Test score
Encyclopedia
A test score is a piece of information, usually a number, that conveys the performance of an examinee on a test. One formal definition is that it is "a summary of the evidence contained in an examinee's responses to the items of a test that are related to the construct or constructs being measured."

Test scores are interpreted with a norm-referenced
Norm-referenced test
A norm-referenced test is a type of test, assessment, or evaluation which yields an estimate of the position of the tested individual in a predefined population, with respect to the trait being measured. This estimate is derived from the analysis of test scores and possibly other relevant data...

or criterion-referenced
Criterion-referenced test
A criterion-referenced test is one that provides for translating test scores into a statement about the behavior to be expected of a person with that score or their relationship to a specified subject matter. Most tests and quizzes written by school teachers are criterion-referenced tests. The...

interpretation, or occasionally both. A norm-referenced interpretation means that the score conveys meaning about the examinee with regards to their standing among other examinees. A criterion-referenced interpretation means that the score conveys information about the examinee with regards a specific subject matter, regardless of other examinees' scores.

## Types of test scores

There are two types of test scores: raw score
Raw score
In statistics and data analysis, a raw score is an original datum that has not been transformed. This may include, for example, the original result obtained by a student on a test as opposed to that score after transformation to a standard score or percentile rank or the like.Often the conversion...

s and scaled scores. A raw score is a score without any sort of adjustment or transformation, such as the simple number of questions answered correctly. A scaled score is the results of some transformation applied to the raw score.

The purpose of scaled scores is to report scores for all examinees on a consistent scale. Suppose that a test has two forms, and one is more difficult than the other. It has been determined by equating
Equating
Test equating traditionally refers to the statistical process of determining comparable scores on different forms of an exam. It can be accomplished using either classical test theory or item response theory....

that a score of 65% on form 1 is equivalent to a score of 68% on form 2. Scores on both forms can be converted to a scale so that these two equivalent scores have the same reported scores. For example, they could both be a score of 350 on a scale of 100 to 500.

Two well-known tests in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

that have scaled scores are the ACT and the SAT. The ACT's scale ranges from 0 to 36 and the SAT's from 200 to 800 (per section). Ostensibly, these two scales were selected to represent a mean and standard deviation
Standard deviation
Standard deviation is a widely used measure of variability or diversity used in statistics and probability theory. It shows how much variation or "dispersion" there is from the average...

of 18 and 6 (ACT), and 500 and 100. The upper and lower bounds were selected because an interval of plus or minus three standard deviations contains more than 99% of a population. Scores outside that range are difficult to measure, and return little practical value.

Note that scaling does not affect the psychometric properties of a test, it is something that occurs after the assessment process (and equating, if present) is completed. Therefore, it is not a psychometric issue, but a public relations issue.