A test, broadly defined, refers to any tools, tasks, or stimuli that are used to measure or assess an individual’s knowledge, understanding, skills, aptitudes, capacities, behavior, or other traits or characteristics in a specific domain, such as reading comprehension ability, mathematical problem-solving ability, physical fitness, personality, beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes. It is a core component of assessment in education, although it is not the only component. This entry provides a brief synopsis of the history and importance of tests, different types of tests, and considerations related to reliability, validity, and fairness of tests.

History of Tests

Tests were first adopted in ancient China as a way to select individuals to fill governmental positions in the Sui dynasty in 605 CE. The approach was adopted in England ...

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