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March 2023

Cut scores and testing: Statistics, judgment, truth, and error

Journal/Book: Psychol Assessment. 1996; 8: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Amer Psychological Assoc. 360-362.

Abstract: The uses and abuses of cut scores (also called cut points, or standards) are examined, illustrating their typical applications and ubiquity. The article demonstrates that cut scores (a) always entail judgment; (b) inherently result in misclassification; (c) impose an artificial dichotomy on an essentially continuous distribution of knowledge, skill or ability; and that (d) no ''true'' cut scores exist. Issues involved in minimizing abuses of cut scores are discussed.

Note: Article Dwyer CA, Educ Testing Serv, Educ Policy Res Div, Rosedale & Carter Rd, Princeton,NJ 08541 USA

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