How do I determine if a test is reliable for my situation?

Before you select a test, you’ll want to think about your program, your needs, and the resources you have. 

  • Is this a high-stakes test for the student?  If so, it is especially important that the test gives consistent results each time. 
  • Do students often contest their results?  Then it may be especially important to find a test whose reliability information has been published in the test manual or professional journal articles. 
  • Do you have very few staff for scoring or even double-scoring the same test?  Then you may want to choose a test with objective responses that can be scored quickly and reliably by a person or machine.