Terms Relating to Scoring Assessments

Concept: Outcome

The TAO Glossary defines an Outcome as "The result of an Assessment Test or Item. These are represented by one or more Outcome Variables".

The Outcomes which end users of TAO are generally interested in are the results, or scores, of a test and the items in it. In this sense, the use of the term Outcome is slightly opaque.  The term has a significantly wider application than that of results or scores, however: Outcomes in TAO incorporate all of the information which is computed during processing.


Item Outcome

The TAO Glossary defines an Item Outcome as "One of a list of values which are computed during Response Processing, based on a test-taker’s response to an item".

As well as the value of the Item Outcome Variable, which, as discussed above, is computed during Response Processing, it may include more complex information used to compute scores later, depending on the scoring method which has been configured.


Test Outcome

The TAO Glossary defines a Test Outcome as "One of a list of values which represent the results of an Assessment Test. Values are computed during Outcome Processing".

The Test Outcomes of an assessment are represented in the Results tables, using the label Test Variables (just as a reminder: Test Variables is short for Test Outcome Variables). They include the information relating to the test as a whole (rather than the individual items). Depending on the Outcome Processing rules used and how the test has been configured, this can include information such as a final test score, scores for any individual categories within the test, and information on whether the test-taker has passed or failed the assessment.