Characteristics of Sound Tests
Instructor: Jessie Jones, Ph.D.
Co-director, Center for Successful Aging
California State University, Fullerton
Criteria for Evaluating Tests
 Reliability
 Validity
 Discrimination
 Performance
 Social Acceptability
 Feasibility
Test Reliability
 Refers
to the consistency of a score from
one trial to the next (especially from one
day to another).
• test-retest reliability
• r = .80
Test Reliability
 Test
objectivity- refers to the degree of
accuracy in scoring a test.
• Also referred to as rater reliability
Rater Reliability
 Is
especially important if measures are
going to be collected on multiple
occasions and/or by more than one
• Intrarater reliability refers to the same
• Interrater reliability refers to different
Test Reliability
How to increase scoring precision
•Practice giving the test to a
sample of clients
•Follow the exact published
•Provide consistent motivation
•Provide rest to reduce fatigue
•Help to reduce client fear
•Note any adaptations in test
Chair Stand
Reliability - Review
 Reliability
 Test-retest
 Test Objectivity
• Intra-rater reliability
• Inter-rater reliability
Test Validity
 A valid
test is one that measures what it is
intended to measure.
• Physical fitness
• Functional limitations
• Motor and sensory impairments
• Fear-of-falling
 Tests
must be validated on intended
Types of Validity
 Content
 Construct
 Criterion
Test Validity
Validity – the degree to which a
test reflects a defined “domain” of
 Content
• Also referred to as “face” or “logical”
 Example:
Berg Balance Scale
 Domain
of interest is balance.
 Participant performs a series of 14 functional
tasks that require balance.
Test Validity
 Construct-related
- the degree to which a test
measures a particular construct.
• A construct is an attribute that exists in theory
but cannot be directly observed.
 Example
Test: 8’ Up & Go
• Construct measured is functional
Test Validity
– evidence demonstrates
that test scores are statistically related to
one or more outcome criteria.
 Concurrent Validity
 Predictive Validity
 Criterion-related
validity – the degree to which a
test correlates with a criterion measure.
 Concurrent
• Criterion measure is often referred to as the
“gold standard” measure.
• > .70
• Example: Chair Sit & Reach
 Predictive
Validity evidence demonstrates
the degree of accuracy with which an
assessment predicts how participants will
perform in a future situation.
Predictive Validity
 Example
 Older
Test: Berg Balance Scale
adults who score above 46/56 have a high
probability of not falling when compared to older
adults who score below this cutoff.
Validity - Review
 Content-related
 Construct-related
 Criterion-related
• Concurrent validity
• Predictive validity
Discrimination Power
 Important
for measuring different ability
levels, and measuring over time.
 Continuous measure tests
• Result in a spread of scores
• Avoid “ceiling effects”- test too easy
• Avoid “floor effects” – test too hard
• Responsiveness
Discrimination Power
 Examples:
• Senior Fitness Test (ratio scale)
Uses time and distance measures
• FAB and BBS (5 pt. ordinal scale)
Allows for “more change in scores” than
Tinetti’s POMA; FEMBAF which only
have 2-3 point scales).
Characteristics of Sound Tests
 Performance
• Evaluated relative to a peer group (norm-
referenced standards).
 Example:
Senior Fitness Test
• In relation to predetermined, desired
outcomes (criterion-referenced standards)
 Example:
8 ft Up & Go
Other Characteristics
of Sound Tests
acceptability – meaningful
 Feasibility – suitable for
use in a particular setting
 Social
 Reliability
 Validity
 Discrimination
 Performance
 Social Acceptability
 Feasibility

Characteristics of Sound Tests - California State University, Fullerton