2009 Spotlight

U.S. Performance Across International Assessments of Student Achievement

Technical Notes: A.4 Scoring

PIRLS, PISA, and TIMSS assessment items include both multiple-choice and "open-ended" or "constructed-response" items (i.e., items that require students to write their answer in the space provided, usually in the form of a list or short sentences). To score each item, a scoring guide (or rubric) is created to train test-scorers and anchor the scoring in each jurisdiction. The scoring guides are carefully written and reviewed by the national research coordinators and other experts as part of the field test of items, and revised accordingly. For each test item, the scoring guide describes the intent of the question and how to score students' responses—full credit, partial credit, or no credit—for the range of possible responses. In addition, the scoring guides include real examples of students' responses accompanied by a rationale for their classification for purposes of clarity and illustration.