Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition

The Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (Stanford 10) was designed to assess student achievement in a variety of academic areas including reading, spelling, language, listening, science, mathematics, and social science (Carney, 2005). As a norm-referenced assessment, it can be implemented by school districts to determine how the local educational system prepares students as compared to a larger system, such as the state or nation. Additionally, it can help determine specific areas of deficiency within a school or a district. In particular, it can determine low student scores that may be the result of inadequate instruction (Morse, 2005).

                                                     Technical Information

Norming Methods

Norms for the Stanford 10 were designed to reflect the kindergarten through 12th grade population (Carney, 2005). Norms were provided for tests given in the spring and fall: 250,000 students participated in the spring norming procedure and 110,000 students represented the fall standardization sample (Carney, 2005). A stratified cluster sampling design was used to choose participating school districts (Carney, 2005). Variables included in the design were geographic areas, socioeconomic statuses, proximity to major cities, and ethnicity. Furthermore, norming samples were close to representative of results from the 2000 Census (Morse, 2005).


The Stanford 10 reported a high degree of internal consistency reliability. The coefficients ranged between the mid .80s and .90s. The abbreviated test's coefficients are somewhat lower (.80s) but this is expected for a scaled down test version (Carney, 2005). Alternate forms reliability for the Stanford 10 was similar to the relationship between the subtests, although Morse (2005) believed these values should have been higher. Although the reliability estimates for judging individual students is adequate, there are exceptions to some of the shortened form subtests as well as some of the long form subtests (Morse, 2005). Reliability estimates are adequate for making judgments on the typical district-wide examinees (Morse, 2005). No test-retest reliability data were reported (Carney, 2005)


Internal consistency reliability is good and has been carefully developed into their time-honored reputation. Regarding validity, however, the examiner or educators must determine that the content of the test aligns with the school's curriculum (Carney, 2005). Convergent validity is demonstrated by correlations in the .70 to .80 range made between subtests of the Stanford 9 and subtests of the Stanford 10. Construct validity was demonstrated with reasonable correlations between the Stanford 10 and the Otis Lennon School Ability Test - 8th Edition (Carney, 2005). Authors of the Stanford 10 claimed the technical data for the shortened form tests are subsets of the full-length version and, as such, the same validity applies to the abbreviated tests (Carney, 2005).

Measures of Error and Generalizability

The Standard 10 utilizes the classical theory standard error of measurement and conditional errors of measurement, which are presented as nomographs for scaled scores (Morse, 2005). Standard errors of measurement are provided in the various reliability coefficient tables (Carney, 2005). To reduce bias and stereotype within the test, a culturally sensitive advisory panel conducted reviews on the test items with a concern for any items that contained bias or stereotyping of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, or English proficiency. The Stanford 10 has been implemented in populations of deaf and hard-of-hearing children (Traxler, 2000) and children from school districts in a variety of geographical locations.

                                                            Benefits and Limitations

The administration of the Stanford 10 requires no special training, and scoring is easily accomplished locally or by the publisher. Faculty and school staff usually administer the assessment with straightforward directions (Morse, 2005). It can be utilized with small or large groups and is valuable to satisfy educational assessments that require local school districts to make comparisons to national averages (Morse, 2005). Its student-oriented design reduces test anxiety and its user-friendliness and attractiveness engages students and maintains their interest and motivation. This may be especially important when trying to accurately assess student achievement (Carney, 2005). Unlike the typical test arrangement with test items increasing in difficulty, the Stanford 10 mixes easy and difficult items. The hope is that the students' motivation will remain intact and they will not become frustrated with increasingly difficult questions (Carney, 2005). The only limitation of the test is that educators and examiners must determine whether the test aligns with their goals as well as the school's curriculum (Carney, 2005). One other discrepancy is with the Thinking Skills score, for which there is inadequate information regarding reliability, error of measurement, and additional technical information (Carney, 2005). This inadequacy is against standards set for such testing (Morse, 2005).


With a time-honored reputation, an abundance of strengths, and few limitations, the Stanford 10 reflects fair and representative norms and more than adequate reliability and validity. Its student-friendliness provides a suitable platform for the accurate assessment of student achievement (Carney, 2005).


Carney, R. N. (2005). Review of the Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (Stanford-10). In K.F. Geisinger, R.A. Spies, J.F. Carlson, and B.S. Plake (Eds.), The sixteenth mental measurements yearbook. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements. Retrieved from Retrieved from

Morse, D. (2005). Review of the Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (Stanford-10). In K.F. Geisinger, R.A. Spies, J.F. Carlson, and B.S. Plake (Eds.), The sixteenth mental measurements yearbook. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements. Retrieved from Retrieved from

Traxler, C. B. (2000). The Stanford Achievement Test, 9th edition: National norming and performance standards for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Journal of Deaf Studies & Deaf Education, 5(4), 337-348.

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