[IPAC-List] Pass points for employment tests and the Standards foreducational and psychological testing

Patrick McCoy Patrick.McCoy at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Wed Jul 28 16:39:04 EDT 2010

Wise words Bryan!!

René, you might wish to take a look at the following Chapter if you
haven't already done so.

Cizek,G.J. (2006). Standard Testing. In S.M. Downing and T.M. Haladyna
(Eds. Handbook of Test Development. Mahwah, N.J.:LEA (pp.225-258).

It is loaded with good content.

Cizek also has a book on the topic if you want a longer treatment.

Pat McCoy
Ottawa, Canada

>>> "Bryan Baldwin" <Bryan.Baldwin at doj.ca.gov> 2010/07/28 3:40 PM >>>

The key to your question (or is it the answer) lies with "in the
of factors that would suggest discriminatory effect or intent." To
extent then this is the age-old "if a tree falls in the forest..."
question, but looking at cases that have been brought against
(e.g., SEPTA, City of Chicago), courts have not looked particularly
fondly upon employers that have set cut-scores based purely on
administrative convenience.

Can you set pass points based on number of positions to fill? Sure.
You could also set it based on the fact that 85 is your favorite
Is this a problem? Probably, from purely a utility perspective if it
wasn't set in a job-related fashion. Could it be a problem legally?
Absolutely, if it has adverse impact and you can't provide the related

Bryan Baldwin
Staff Services Manager II
California Department of Justice
Division of Administrative Support
Personnel Programs
(916) 322-5446

>>> "Shekerjian, Rene" <Rene.Shekerjian at cs.state.ny.us> 7/28/2010

AM >>>
The Standards seem to say that pass points can be set for employment
tests based solely on the number of positions to be filled (4.19 and
4.20). Based on things I have heard and read, I have the feeling that
that is not how things have played out over the years.

Is it really that simple for employment tests? (Gets ready to duck.)
course, I mean in the absence of factors that would suggest
discriminatory effect or intent.

I would appreciate any thoughts you would care to share on this issue.



René Shekerjian | Testing Services Division | NYS Department of Civil

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