Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Charles E. Byrd & Teraesa S. Vinson
An achievement test is any test designed to assess an individual's attainment of a specific knowledge or skill in a specified content area within which the individual has received some level of instruction or training. However, achievement tests are often confused with aptitude tests. Aptitude tests may not differ in form from achievement tests, but they typically differ in both use and interpretation. Aptitude tests are typically designed to estimate an individual's future performance on a task and/or his or her aptitude to develop new skills or knowledge if provided instruction or training. Essentially, achievement tests assess current performance after specific training; aptitude tests assess the potential for future performance. For more than 100 years, achievement and aptitude testing have steadily gained momentum and support from psychologists, educators, policymakers, and the general public. Recent laws at both federal and state levels clearly demonstrate the emerging importance of achievement and aptitude ...