Norm-Referenced Test

What is a norm-referenced test?

A norm-referenced test is a type of assessment that compares an individual’s performance to the performance of a larger group. The results of the test are used to rank individuals and determine how they compare to their peers. This type of test is often used in HR to evaluate job candidates, assess employee performance, and identify training needs.

How does norm-referenced tests work?

Norm-referenced tests are designed to measure an individual’s relative performance in comparison to others. The test results are often reported in percentile ranks, which show where an individual’s performance falls in relation to the rest of the group. This information can be valuable for HR professionals when making decisions about hiring, promotions, and training.

Key features of norm-referenced tests

Norm-referenced tests are standardized, meaning that they are administered and scored in a consistent manner. They are also designed to measure a specific set of skills or knowledge, making them useful for evaluating job-related competencies. Additionally, norm-referenced tests provide valuable comparative data that can help HR professionals make informed decisions about talent management.


While norm-referenced tests compare an individual's performance to that of a larger group, criterion-referenced tests measure an individual's performance against a specific standard or criteria.

Norm-referenced tests can provide valuable insights into a candidate's relative strengths and weaknesses, helping HR professionals make more informed hiring decisions.

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