Monday, March 07, 2011

Specificity and Sensitivity in tests

You are required to identify kids in need of remediation using a scholastic ability test.

If your test is highly specific, a low score will be able to identify everyone that requires remediation. - A lack of specificity indicates that some kids who require remediation are not identified.

If your test is highly sensitive, then a high score will clearly exclude anyone that does not need remediation.

SPIN and SNOUT are commonly used mnemonics which helps to remind us ofthe disticntion: A highly SPecific test, when Positive, rules IN disease (SP-P-IN), and a highly 'SeNsitive' test, when Negative rules OUT disease (SN-N-OUT)

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