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Introduction

Achievement testing plays a central role in education, particularly given the current context of high-stakes educational reform seen in countries like the United States. This entry provides a brief overview of achievement testing beginning with a description of its role in education. Different types of achievement tests, commonly used derived scores, recent advances such as performance assessments, and future directions are described (Hambleton & Zaal, 1991).

Achievement Testing and its Role

Achievement tests are designed to measure the knowledge and skills that individuals learn in a relatively well-defined area through formal or informal educational experiences. Thus, achievement tests include tests designed by teachers for use in the classroom and standardized tests developed by school districts, states, national and international organizations, and commercial test publishers.

Achievement tests have been ...

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