How to Cite a Standardized Test

Updated July 20, 2017

Citing a Standardized Test

Step 1

Find out which citation style you are required to use. If you are working with a university or college, this information will be given to you as part of the requirements or rubric for your project. If you are not given a specific style to use, I recommend you use APA; it is one of the most widely accepted in academic circles.

Step 2

Treat the standardized test as you would a book. Technically, it is regarded as a test booklet.

Step 3

List the author, last name first. In APA style, you only need an initial for the first name. For a standardized test that has no author listed, the test publisher is used as both author and publisher. The name is followed by a period.

Step 4

Put the year of publication in parentheses, followed by a period, immediately after the author's name.

Step 5

Record the name of the test along with the form or edition of the test used followed by a period. For example, a hypothetical entry could read: Reading and Math Tests Forms K and L, Sixth Edition. Note that for a standardized test the edition is part of the name and is written out as such.

Step 6

Cite the city of publication with a colon followed by the name of the publisher.

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  • If possible, use the reference library at your school to help correctly set up your bibliography.


  • Be sure to get the publisher's permission before quoting from a standardized exam.

About the Author

Patrice Robinson is a retired professional educator and administrator. She worked in the public schools for more than 30 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in the teaching of English, two master'sdegrees (one in English and one in education) and a doctorate degree in education.