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Common Evaluation Errors


The following is a list of common mistakes that evaluators make. It is not in anyway exhaustive and is in no particular order.

1. Looking at a child's performance in isolation, without looking at performance in relationship to schools.

2. Obtaining test scores very different from those of other evaluators and not noting the differences or hypothesizing about the reasons why.

3. Using outdated instruments or norms, without noting this and explaining why.

4. Using the wrong level instrument, or a test designed for a child of a different age or grade, without noting this and justifying why.

5. Failing to compare achievement test results with expectations based on IQ.

6. Failing to acknowledge that isolated high scores may be meaningless anomalies.

7. Re-administering tests too frequently, without acknowledging or explaining practice effect.

8. Blindly accepting testing as valid when in fact it may be methodologically flawed.

9. Being unwilling to share your protocols or other test data with competent professionals.

10. Destroying records and protocols.

11. Using experimental tests without noting this.

12. For a child who is unusually old or young compared to his/her classmates, not indicating whether the reported test scores are based on age or grade and why.

13. Trying to compress too much testing into a single session.

14. Not writing the test date on the protocol.

15. Not completing the protocol. (Filling in only the score but not the response for example.)

16. Mis-scoring the test.

17. Relying solely on a computerized interpretation of a test.

18. Recommending services for non educational reasons.

19. Identifying only weaknesses, while ignoring strengths.