In test development a Pre-Alignment Analysis and a Post-Alignment Analysis is conducted to check for four major components of the assessment: 1) balance of representation, 2) categorical concurrence, 3) range of knowledge and 4) depth of knowledge of all test items. It is conducted after test items have been written and selected for field testing and again after the field test has been administered. In the Alignment Study, external reviewers from other states and internal reviewers from within the state analyze the agreement between the state’s content standards and objectives (CSOs) and the state's summative assessment.
All reviewers participate in analyzing the standards and assigning a depth-of-knowledge (DOK) level to each grade-level standard and each grade level objective. Based on the analysis, revisions are made to bring any deficient area into reasonable alignment standards. Following the revisions to items based upon the Pre-Alignment Study, a Post-Alignment Study is conducted to analyze the revised assessments. The revisions are made to produce an assessment that will generate valid and reliable test results.