A test or examination is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker's knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics.
Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning.
Physical fitness is a general state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities.
A skill is the ability to carry out a task with pre-determined results often within a given amount of time, energy, or both.
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A test may be administered verbally, on paper, on a computer, or in a confined area that requires a test taker to physically perform a set of skills.
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Tests vary in style, rigor and requirements.
For example, in a closed book test, a test taker is often required to rely upon memory to respond to specific items whereas in an open book test, a test taker may use one or more supplementary tools such as a reference book or calculator when responding to an item.
A test may be administered formally or informally.
An example of an informal test would be a reading test administered by a parent to a child.
An example of a formal test would be a final examination administered by a teacher in a classroom or an I.Q. test administered by a psychologist in a clinic.
Formal testing often results in a grade or a test score.
A test score is a piece of information, usually a number, that conveys the performance of an examinee on a test.
A test score may be interpreted with regards to a norm or criterion, or occasionally both.
The norm may be established independently, or by statistical analysis of a large number of participants.
An exam is meant to test a child's knowledge or willingness to give time to manipulate that subject.
A standardized test is any test that is administered and scored in a consistent manner to ensure legal defensibility.
Standardized tests are often used in education, professional certification, psychology, the military, and many other fields.
Professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation, often called simply certification or qualification, is a designation earned by a person to assure qualification to perform a job or task.
The military, also called the armed forces, are forces authorized to use deadly force, and weapons, to support the interests of the state and some or all of its citizens.
Psychology is the study of behavior and mind, embracing all aspects of conscious and unconscious experience as well as thought.
A non-standardized test is usually flexible in scope and format, variable in difficulty and significance.
Since these tests are usually developed by individual instructors, the format and difficulty of these tests may not be widely adopted or used by other instructors or institutions.
A non-standardized test may be used to determine the proficiency level of students, to motivate students to study, and to provide feedback to students.
In some instances, a teacher may develop non-standardized tests that resemble standardized tests in scope, format, and difficulty for the purpose of preparing their students for an upcoming standardized test.
Finally, the frequency and setting by which a non-standardized tests are administered are highly variable and are usually constrained by the duration of the class period.
A class instructor may for example, administer a test on a weekly basis or just twice a semester.
Depending on the policy of the instructor or institution, the duration of each test itself may last for only five minutes to an entire class period.