When the performance test is constructed, scoring procedures are developed. A detailed,
step-by-step description of required performance provides an effective scoring procedure for
some tasks. Action steps or elements required in the performance test usually are prepared
in checklist form, and the trainee is required to follow each step without deviation. For other
tasks, the product of performance (i.e., a tangible result) should be measured. In
developing a scoring procedure for this type of performance test, scorable characteristics
must be defined to distinguish clearly between satisfactory and unsatisfactory performance.
Scoring methods must adhere to administrative and instructional guidelines and reflect the
evaluation standards. If an evaluation standard is "without error" a yes/no checklist should
be used. If the standard implies some range of acceptable performance, a rating scale may
be used. However, rating scales introduce greater subjectivity and are more difficult to use,
to interpret, and to back up than a yes/no checklist. If sequence is important, identify this on
the performance test and provide proper scoring guidance.
Establish cutoff scores to meet the performance standards. Percentages are the least
preferred method. Failure of a performance test should be determined by the failure of any
critical step or the failure to follow required sequences. The cutoff score for any behavior
should be based on a level of performance that is achievable by the average person.
All methods of scoring should be consistent with policy, procedures, specifications, and
needs. The method should also adhere to instructional guidelines, such as testing the
objectives, and should clearly distinguish between satisfactory and unsatisfactory
Piloting the Performance Test
The purpose of piloting a performance test is to ensure that the "bugs" have been worked
out of the test. The pilot should be conducted under the conditions required for actual job
performance or the same conditions under which the trainee will be tested.