Stanford 10

Stanford 10 is a norm-referenced test, which means a student's performance is compared with that of a group of similar students who have taken the same test across the nation. Student scores are reported in relation to the scores of this "norm" group. A score in the 87th percentile, for example, means the test taker scored better than 87 out of every 100 students in the norm group. Statistically, the majority of students nationwide will be in the 50th-percentile range.

In 2012 the norm group changed to a more current sample. Generally speaking, the new norm group was more representative of the nation as a whole and produced a "tougher" norm to which our Issaquah School District students are now compared. Therefore, last year we expected to see lower average scores at the school and district level than the year before, when there was a less rigorous norm. This year's scores can be compared to last year's and, moving forward, we will be able to notice trends in performance.

Also in 2012, we scaled back Stanford administration to only a few select grades. As in the past, we primarily use the Stanford scores for placement purposes. The new norm and altered average scores will not impact this process. In determining selection for programs such as SAGE, MERLIN, Humanities Plus, and Math Pathways, we always look at a student's Stanford scores relative to his/her peers. Because students will retain their relative standing (regardless of score), we will proceed as we do every year.

For more information, please read "The Changing Norms Phenomenon" from the Stanford organization.


Call Director of Assessment Debra Hawkins (425) 837-7076

Stanford 10 data is used to identify students for special programs throughout the district and to help teachers know more about student skills in specific areas like fractions, decimals, vocabulary, and comprehension. The District will administer the Stanford assessment only at grades 1, 2, and 5 beginning in 2011-2012.

As an alternative to the Stanford 10, students who take the WAAS Portfolio will have a Checklist Alternative Assessment based on their Individual Education Plan (IEP) in Reading and Mathematics.

How Stanford tests are scored

The Stanford 10 is a nationally normed test which gives us information on how Issaquah students compare to other students across the country. The average score on the Stanford 10, regardless of grade level or content area, is the 50th percentile. This score means that in a random sample of 100 students in the norming group, we would expect approximately 49 to score lower than 50 and 50 to score higher. Stanford results are reported in percentile rankings, not in percentage of answers correct.

Total Reading and Total Math scores are shown, as well as subtests like reading vocabulary or reading comprehension. Not all grade levels have subtests for each content area. A Partial Battery score is based on the combined scores for Total Reading and Total Math. We do not give the entire Stanford 10 which includes social studies and science tests; therefore, we get a Partial Battery score.

Test descriptions by grade levels tested

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