Standard Setting in Education

The Nordic Countries in an International Perspective

  • Sigrid Blömeke
  • Jan-Eric Gustafsson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Sigrid Blömeke, Jan-Eric Gustafsson
    Pages 1-7
  3. Fundamental Questions in Standard Setting

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Hans Anand Pant, Simon P. Tiffin-Richards, Petra Stanat
      Pages 49-68
  4. Standard-Setting in the Nordic Countries

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-99
    2. Peter Allerup, Christian Christrup Kjeldsen
      Pages 101-121
    3. Gustaf B. Skar, Ragnar Thygesen, Lars Sigfred Evensen
      Pages 225-241
    4. Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen, Helena Thuneberg, Jukka Marjanen, Jarkko Hautamäki, Sirkku Kupiainen, Risto Hotulainen
      Pages 243-259
  5. New Methodological Approaches to Standard-Setting

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 261-261
    2. Jos Keuning, J. Hendrik Straat, Remco C. W. Feskens
      Pages 263-278
    3. Linda I. Haschke, Nele Kampa, Inga Hahn, Olaf Köller
      Pages 319-339

About this book


This book summarizes the international evidence on methodological issues in standard setting in education. By critically discussing the standard-setting practices implemented in the Nordic countries and by presenting new methodological approaches, it offers fresh perspectives on the current research. 

Standard setting targets crucial societal objectives by defining educational benchmarks at different achievement levels, and provides feedback to policy makers, schools and teachers about the strengths and weaknesses of a school system. Given that the consequences standard setting can be dramatic, the quality of standard setting is a prime concern. If it fails, repercussions can be expected in terms of arbitrary evaluations of educational policy, wrong turns in school or teacher development or misplacement of individual students. Standard setting therefore needs to be accurate, reliable, valid, useful, and defensible. 

However, specific evidence on the benefits and limits of different approaches to standard setting is rare and scattered, and there is a particular lack with respect to standard setting in the Nordic countries, where the number of national tests is increasing and there are concerns about the time and effort spent on testing at schools without feedback being provided. Addressing this gap, the book offers a discussion on standard setting by respected experts as well as profound and innovative insights into fundamental aspects of standard setting including conclusions for future methodological and policy-related research.


Methods of standard setting National tests Research on standard setting Defining achievement levels Cut scores Educational monitoring Performance level descriptors Assessment of learning Assessment for learning Formative assessment Summative assessment Standard setting in Norway Standard setting in Sweden Standard setting in Denmark Standard setting in Finland

Editors and affiliations

  • Sigrid Blömeke
    • 1
  • Jan-Eric Gustafsson
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Educational Measurement at the University of Oslo (CEMO)OsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Education and Special EducationUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-50855-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-50856-6
  • Series Print ISSN 2367-170X
  • Series Online ISSN 2367-1718
  • Buy this book on publisher's site