Achievement Tests (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
Standardized tests, administered to groups of students, intended to measure how well they have learned information in various academic subjects.
Spelling tests, timed arithmetic tests, and map quizzes are all examples of achievement tests. Each measures how well students can demonstrate their knowledge of a particular academic subject or skill. Achievement tests on a small scale like these are administered frequently in schools. Less frequently, students are given more inclusive achievement tests that cover a broader spectrum of information and skills. For instance, many states now require acceptable scores on "proficiency" tests at various grade levels before advancement is allowed. Admission to colleges and graduate studies depends on achievement tests such as the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), which attempts to measure both aptitude and achievement, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), and the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the California Achievement Test (CAT) are examples of achievement tests given to many elementary school students around the United States.
Useful achievement tests must be both reliable and valid. Reliable tests are consistent and reproducible. That is, a student taking a similar test, or the same test at a different...
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