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Test (assessment)

A test or an examination (or "exam") is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker's knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics (e.g., beliefs). A test may be administered orally, on paper, on a computer, or in a confined area that requires a test taker to physically perform a set of skills. Tests vary in style, rigor and requirements. For example, in a closed book test, a test taker is often required to rely upon memory to respond to specific items whereas in an open book test, a test taker may use one or more supplementary tools such as a reference book or calculator when responding to an item. A test may be administered formally or informally. An example of an informal test would be a reading test administered by a parent to a child. An example of a formal test would be a final examination administered by a teacher in a classroom or an I.Q. test administered by a psychologist in a clinic. Formal testing often results in a grade or a test score. A test score may be interpreted with regards to a norm or criterion, or occasionally both. The norm may be established independently, or by statistical analysis of a large number of participants.

A standardized test is any test that is administered and scored in a consistent manner to ensure legal defensibility. Standardized tests are often used in education, professional certification, psychology (e.g., MMPI), the military, and many other fields.

A non-standardized test is usually flexible in scope and format, variable in difficulty and significance. Since these tests are usually developed by individual instructors, the format and difficulty of these tests may not be widely adopted or used by other instructors or institutions. A non-standardized test may be used to determine the proficiency level of students, to motivate students to study, and to provide feedback to students. In some instances, a teacher may develop non-standardized tests that resemble standardized tests in scope, format, and difficulty for the purpose of preparing their students for an upcoming standardized test. Finally, the frequency and setting by which a non-standardized tests are administered are highly variable and are usually constrained by the duration of the class period. A class instructor may for example, administer a test on a weekly basis or just twice a semester. Depending of the policy of the instructor or institution, the duration of each test itself may last for only five minutes to an entire class period.

In contrasts to non-standardized tests, standardized tests are widely used, fixed in terms of scope, difficulty and format, and are usually significant in consequences. Standardized tests are usually held on fixed dates as determined by the test developer, educational institution, or governing body, which may or may not be administered by the instructor, held within the classroom, or constrained by the classroom period. Although there is little variability between different copies of the same type of standardized test (e.g., SAT or GRE), there is variability between different types of standardized tests.

Any test with important consequences for the individual test taker is referred to as a high-stakes test.

A test may be developed and administered by an instructor, a clinician, a governing body, or a test provider. In some instances, the developer of the test may not be directly responsible for its administration. For example, Educational Testing Service (ETS), a nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization, develops standardized tests such as the SAT but may not directly be involved in the administration or proctoring of these tests. As with the development and administration of educational tests, the format and level of difficulty of the tests themselves are highly variable and there is no general consensus or invariable standard for test formats and difficulty. Often, the format and difficulty of the test is dependent upon the educational philosophy of the instructor, subject matter, class size, policy of the educational institution, and requirements of accreditation or governing bodies. In general, tests developed and administered by individual instructors are non-standardized whereas tests developed by testing organizations are standardized.


Ancient China was the first country in the world that implemented a nationwide standardized test, which was called the imperial examination. The main purpose of this examination was to select for able candidates for specific governmental positions. The imperial examination was established by the Sui Dynasty at 605 AD and was later abolished by the Qing Dynasty 1300 years later at 1905. England had adopted this examination system in 1806 to select for specific candidates for positions in Her Majesty's Civil Service. This examination system was later applied to education and it started to influence other parts of the world as it became a prominent standard (e.g. regulations to prevent the markers from knowing the identity of candidates), of delivering standardized tests.

Modern day use of tests


Some countries such as the United Kingdom and France require all their secondary school students to take a standardized test on individual subjects such as the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and Baccalauréat respectively as a requirement for graduation. These tests are used primarily to assess a student's proficiency in specific subjects such as mathematics, science, or literature. In contrasts, high school students in other countries such as the United States may not be required to take a standardized test to graduate. Moreover, students in these countries usually ta

Formative assessment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Formative assessment is more valuable for day-to-day teaching when it is used to adapt the .... [edit] Benefits of Formative Assessments for Students ...

Formative evaluation


Formative evaluation is a type of evaluation which has the purpose of improving programs. It goes under other names such as developmental evaluation and implementation evaluation. It can be contrasted with other types of evaluation which have other purposes, in particular process evaluation and outcome evaluation. An example of this is its use in instructional design to assess ongoing projects during their construction to implement improvements. Formative evaluation can use any of the techniques which are used in other types of evaluation: surveys, interviews, data collection and experiments (where these are used to examine the outcomes of pilot projects).

Formative evaluation developed relatively late in the course of evaluation's emergence as a discipline as a result of growing frustration with an exclusive emphasis on outcome evaluation as the only purpose for evaluation activity. Outcome evaluation looks at the intended or unintended positive or negative consequences of a program, policy or organization. While outcome evaluation is useful where it can be done, it is not always the best type of evaluation to undertake. For instance, in many cases it is difficult or even impossible to undertake an outcome evaluation because of either feasibility or cost. In other cases, even where outcome evaluation is feasible and affordable, it may be a number of years before the results of an outcome evaluation become available. As a consequence, attention has turned to using evaluation techniques to maximize the chances that a program will be successful instead of waiting till the final results of a program are available to assess its usefulness. Formative evaluation therefore complements outcome evaluation rather than being an alternative to it.

Formative evaluation is done with a small group of people to "test run" various aspects of instructional materials. For example, you might ask a friend to look over your web pages to see if they are graphically pleasing, if there are errors you've missed, if it has navigational problems. It's like having someone look over your shoulder during the development phase to help you catch things that you miss, but a fresh set of eyes might not. At times, you might need to have this help from a target audience. For example, if you're designing learning materials for third graders, you should have a third grader as part of your Formative Evaluation.

The terms formative and summative evaluation were coined by Michael Scriven (1967) .

Formative Evaluation has also recently become the recommended method of evaluation in U.S. education. In this context, an educator would analyze the performance of a student during the teaching/intervention process and compare this data to the baseline data. There are four visual criteria that can be applied

  1. Change in mean,
  2. Change in level or discontinuity of performance,
  3. Change in trend or rate of change,
  4. Latency of change

Another method of monitoring progress in formative evaluation is use of the number-point rule. In this method, if a certain pre-specified number of data points collected during the intervention are above the goal, then the educators need to consider raising the goal or discontinuing the intervention. If data points vary highly, educators can discuss how to motivate a student to achieve more consistently.


At the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Vienna Twitter was used for formative course evaluation.

From Yahoo Answers

Question:For what situations are each appropriate? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Answers:there are too many types of assessments.. Sounds liek your doing homework.. just go on google and look it up for your self.


Answers:Advantage: Smaller file size Disadvantage: Lower image quality

Question:Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the monitoring of all email by the United States government.

Answers:It depends on the reason. If they are onto terrorists, that's one thing. If they want to make sure we don't say anything they don't like, it's none of their damn business.

Question:i'm applying for an internship and to quaulify i need to take an english 1A and college algerbra assessment test, english should be cake but i'm freaking out about the algerbra test, i haven't done algerbra for almost 3 years. so how hard are the test? does it varry on what college you take it at? anpreticullary college i should take them at? ( i live in so cal)

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From Youtube

Primary Assessment - Formative Assessment 1 :Education expert Professor Paul Black presents evidence to show that getting pupils to do the majority of the work in a classroom leads to significant school improvement. This programme explains what is meant by formative assessment and how it is applied in a Hertfordshire primary school. At Two Waters Primary School, teacher Julia Turner uses formative assessment in a Year 6 revision lesson on light. First, she works with pupils to determine their learning intentions. Then, using mind mapping, she collaborates with her class to develop success criteria. Her pupils are given responsibility for their own learning. They work in small groups or pairs and choose their own resources. They often leave the classroom to use the library and ICT suite. Watch the full programme now on the Teachers TV website here www.teachers.tv

Robert Marzano on Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading :Robert Marzano discusses Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading, the second book in his Classroom Strategies That Work library. He details why this is not just another book on formative assessment, but a research-based guide to classroom transformation.