All NOCTI Job Ready, Pathway, and Employability Skills credentials, as well as those from many of our partners, may be administered as pre-tests. Pre-testing provides numerous benefits to students, instructors, and programs.
NOCTI provides assessment blueprints and study guides as resources to assist with assessment preparation. Along with these tools, pre-tests help determine a student’s baseline technical knowledge in a career and technical education program. Pre-test administration opens a window of opportunity for students to help ease test anxiety, preview the types of questions to expect on the end-of-program assessment, and recognize their strengths or areas they should focus on for improvement over the remainder of their instruction. They also provide a snapshot of the type of knowledge expected for successful completion of the content areas.
Instructors will have a more comprehensive understanding of student knowledge after pre-test administration and can use the scoring data to plan the remainder of the instruction, develop individual learning goals for students, compare pre-test and post-test data at the individual and classroom levels, and track trends across years.
The scoring data provided for pre-tests can be a valuable tool for instructors to gauge the overall knowledge gained in their program, and can be useful for identifying curriculum changes, equipment needs, and pinpointing areas where students consistently excel or need improvement. Curriculum and lesson plans can be modified based on data analysis findings. Comparative data between pre-test and post-test scores can be a spotlight for the success of a program!
The Pre-Test Window
It is important to know when a pre-test should be administered. Since one of the purposes is to pinpoint gaps in knowledge prior to post-testing at the completion of the program, pre-test administration of NOCTI knowledge-based assessments is intended for students at the beginning of, or at a key point during the program. In some instances, schools choose to administer a pre-test as students enter a program to capture baseline-knowledge, and then again at a mid-way point in order to track leaning. Pre-tests are not intended to be used as a practice test and must be administered following NOCTI’s pre-test administration policy.
NOCTI’s standard score report package includes both group and individual score reports, as well as a competency report and an analysis of scores. All of these reports can provide lots of valuable information to allow instructors to target certain areas for improvement within their curriculum.
The Competency Report may be most valuable in regards to targeting areas for program improvement. Both NOCTI’s assessment blueprints and competency reports contain the list of competencies covered on the assessments. When used as either a pre- or post-test, the connection between the competency report and the blueprint makes it easy for instructors to review critical knowledge and skills as they plan for classroom instruction as well as overall instructional improvement. This report will display the number of items possible, average correct by group, and number correct by individual student for each competency. This will identify individual strengths and gaps, as well as overall class performance in each area.
The Individual Score Report will include pre-/post-test comparisons for each standard and competency as well as overall scores. A percentage of change will show how the student’s knowledge base improved from the pre-test to the post-test.
Using pre- and post-test comparisons at the total and standard levels in conjunction with the competency data can provide instructors with a complete picture of student progress. Instructors can use this data as evidence of student growth and to support effective teaching strategies. These reports can be shared with participants and their parents and can also be included in a student portfolio.