Testing, Historical Development of

Testing has been put to many purposes, including identifying job candidates, assessing students for remediation, evaluating students' intelligence, allocating educational opportunities, monitoring achievement, and improving education systems. In education, tests are samples of knowledge, skill, or other qualities that are used to make inferences about the students, teachers, demographic groups, schools, or education systems. Inferences from tests have been used in decisions about the placement, selection, graduation, and certification of students, and teacher, school, and school system performance. Tests both reflect and influence the societies that use them and have done so for well over a thousand years. This entry traces the history of testing, with an emphasis on the methods, purposes, and systemic influences of standardized testing from its origins to the present day.

Origins ...

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