Jess Sanders

Definitions of Measurement Terms

Discussion created by Jess Sanders on Sep 29, 2016
Latest reply on Nov 1, 2016 by Jean Fleming

Here are some measurement terms you might see when looking at assessment results:

ScoresThe overall score for a student. Measurement scales can vary by assessment type and purpose, so scores will derive from the scale being used.

Short for Standard Error of Measurement, this value is an estimate of a test’s precision. The smaller the SEM, the more precise the measurement.


Some tests will compare student scores with students from another group, such as a national “norm” sample. This value indicates how the student’s score ranks relative to his or her peers.

MeanThe average score of students within this class.
MedianThe middle score of students within this class.
Standard DeviationThis value indicates the variability of the scores from this class of students. A higher standard deviation typically indicates a wider range of scores.


If you have any questions about how these measurement terms are used in the assessment results you have seen, share them below.