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A standardized test is a test that is administered and scored in a consistent, or "standard", manner.

It is constructed by specialists and experts based on standardized norms and principle. Standardized tests are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent[1] and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.[2]

6. Standardized tools
Context In recent years there has been increased pressure on human services to show they are achieving outcomes. This has led to a focus on measurement of outcomes. Human services focusing on whether or not they are making a difference for clients is a good thing. Key questions are: How does one know? Will other people believe us? How can we show a cause and effect link between what our service does and changes in clients? In answering these questions there has been a growing emphasis on the use of standardised questionnaires and tools; often without adequately addressing cause and effect linkages. There are many paradoxes and dilemmas in measuring outcomes. See also Client questionnaires, Examples and On-line surveys for more examples of questionnaires. Examples There are thousands of standardised tools for health and community services. Some examples relevant for services working with families and children include measures of:

Quality of life - Australian well being Index Post-natal depression - Edinburgh Post-natal depression scale Child parent relationship- The Pianta Scale has three sub-scales (conflicts, positive aspects of the relationship and dependence) . Child behaviour - Strengths and difficulties questionnaire - This includes five sub-scales (emotional, conduct, hyperactivity, peer and pro-social) and a total score (which excludes pro social). Child development - Battelle Development Quotient is a standardised score of child development. Depression, anxiety and stress - The DASS21 is a set of three self-report scales designed to measure the negative emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress Adolescents self-description - SDQI - The Self Description Questionnaire I is designed to measure multiple dimensions of self-concept for pre-adolescents. Personal effectiveness - ROPELOC - The ROPELOC instrument contains 14 scales; including personal abilities and beliefs (Self-Confidence, Self-Efficacy, Stress Management, Open Thinking), social abilities (Social Effectiveness, Cooperative Teamwork, Leadership Ability), organisational skills (Time Management, Quality Seeking, Coping with Change

Advantages Advantages of using standardised questionnaires and tools such as those above can include:

The ease of using already developed measures Being able to relate your findings with others findings Being able to compare your clients with the population generally or other groups of clients

Disadvantages The disadvantages of using standardised questionnaires and tools can include.

They may be longer and more intrusive than one might wish to be with one's clients They don't measure exactly what you want to measure They may require a specialist to administer (e.g. a psychologist is required for the Battelle) There may be additional costs such as copyright fees.

Useful questions When thinking about using standardised tools some useful questions are:

What is your purpose? What do you want to measure? What does the standardised tool measure? How certain do you want to be? Who do you need to convince? Are you doing evaluation? Or research? How will you show a cause and effect linkage between your service and the outcomes for your clients? How will the use of the tool impact on the clients? How will the use of the tool impact on the service process?