Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Comparing Instruments



James H. Yen, Dennis D. Leber, Leticia S. Pibida


This document details methods to compare instrument performance. Comparison methods for instruments outputting binary (0-1) responses as well as for instruments outputting continuous numeric responses are shown, first for two instruments and then for multiple instruments. Hypothesis tests and confidence intervals for instrument differences are demonstrated. Several nonparametric procedures are shown along with reasons why they might be needed. Finally, equivalence testing is demonstrated for those cases where testing for equivalence rather than for differences is indicated.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 2106
Report Number


Analysis of variance (ANOVA), binomial test response, confidence interval, continuous test response, equivalence testing, hypothesis test, nonparametric tests, normal approximation, Student’s t test.


Yen, J. , Leber, D. and Pibida, L. (2020), Comparing Instruments, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 19, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created September 29, 2020, Updated September 30, 2020