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Lisa Armstrong, and other interested folks...

I am in no way a reading specialist, but with my experience in working
with reading tests I believe you must be very careful in trying to
compare two tests which are designed differently.  They may both be
"fruits", but one tastes more like an orange and the other an apple!

We use the College Board's Computerized Placement Test at Aims and have
been doing a study this past year comparing CPT Reading Comprehension
Test scores with Nelson-Denny Reading scores.  For all students who
score below 40 on the CPT Reading, we administer the Nelson-Denny.
The main reason we do this is to further assess student's reading
skills on a "different type of reading test" to enhance the placement
process.  I don't have quite enough data yet to properly compare how
students perform on these two tests, but so far it appears as if the
Nelson-Denny scores are much higher than the CPT.

One of my colleagues, Marsha,  who has a master's in reading, adds the
following: The CPT Reading assesses more comprehension and critical
thinking skills, whereas half of the Nelson-Denny test consists of
vocabulary, which assesses individual word knowledge rather than words
in context.  So we belive it is not valid to compare these two tests
because they are designed so differently.

Another thing to consider is that your ASSET reading cut-score may not
be set correctly.  I would think your students would find the
Nelson-Denny easier than the ASSET because of the vocabulary section
being calculated into the score.

Perhaps some of you reading specialists who are familiar with these
tests could comment on this matter.  Lisa, let me know if you do find
any data that supports a positive correlation between these reading
tests.  Thanks!

Darlene M. Nold
Program Director of Assessment
Aims Community College, Greeley, CO
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(970)-330-8008 ext. 299