Test Glossary

Academic Test Glossary
Environmental Test Glossary
Medical Test Glossary
Employment Test Glossary
Intelligence and Personality Test Glossary
Transportation Test Glossary

Academic Test Glossary

An evaluation by an agency, membership association, or government body that determines whether an academic program, institution or exam meets a set of specific standards set by the evaluating organization.

Achievement Tests
An academic test measuring what a person knows or is capable of doing after being instructed in the subject matter. Can take the form of a quiz, subject test, standardized test or hands-on test.

A multiple choice college entrance exam that assesses an individual's knowledge of high school academic information and infers whether the individual can meet the demands of college level work. The test covers english, reading, science and math.

Adaptive Tests
Completely customized tests for each person that takes the test, based on the answers they give on prior questions. They are given on a computer and are geared in difficulty level to the test taker's ability.

Advanced Placement (AP)
Advanced placement courses allow high school students to take college level courses while still in high school. At the completion of the course, the student must pass the Advanced Placement (AP) Test associated with the class. In some cases, students receive college credit for AP classes completed in high school.

Aggregate Scores
A grouping of test scores or other information combined from a group, such as a class, school, or district to determine performance of the overall group.

Alternative Assessment
A method in which a test taker responds to a test question or task in a non-traditional way, such as by performing a demonstration or oral presentation, writing an essay or developing an exhibit, instead of using a typical test question and answer format.

Aptitude Tests
These tests measure intelligence or learning potential in an academic environment. Unlike achievement tests, they are not necessarily based on what a person has previously been taught, but are based more on what they are capable of learning.

At Risk
A student or other person may be labeled as "at risk" if they are not succeeding in school or are deemed to have potential negative outcomes due to scores on tests, grades and other criteria.

Authentic Measurement Tests
Authentic measurement tests determine whether the test taker can successfully perform real-life skills. In many cases, there is no exact right or wrong answer, but rather an assessment by the test scorer of whether the person can adequately perform the task.

Authorization to Test (ATT)
An Authorization to Test (ATT) is received by a test candidate once their eligibility to take a test has been determined and all registration information and fees have been submitted. This is often used with third party test centers and the ATT serves as entrance into the exam.

A pre-defined set of expectations, achievements or scores that are expected of a particular group of people at a particular time. This can relate to test scores, academic standards or other measurable criteria.

Brainstorming is a method where an individual or group of individuals comes up with a set of ideas that are not graded or considered right or wrong, but are rather used to gather ideas or develop a concept.

Certification is based on meeting or exceeding a specific level of criteria which is often set by a professional organization or nonprofit agency.

Challenge Examination
A test created by an educational institution that serves to determine if a student is eligible to either be exempt from a particular course or to receive credit for having completed a similar course of study.

Class Rank
An assessment of how a student's achievement compares with others within their grade based on course grades and also the difficulty level of the courses taken.

Collaborative Learning
An environment in which learners of varying abilities work together or cooperatively on a single project or task to brainstorm ideas and determine outcomes as a group.

Comprehensive Examinations
A test that covers a broad range of academic material taught during several courses in pursuit of an academic degree. In many cases, comprehensive exams may be given at the end of masters or doctoral degree programs.

Computerized Adaptive Testing
Tests are administered via interactive computers by selecting a set of test questions from a pre-determined bank of questions that most effectively measures the persons knowledge or personality trait. Each test is different and adapts to the ability of the test taker.

Constructed-Response Tests
Tests that include open ended questions that a test taker must fill in the answer for. This differs from other types of test questions, such as multiple choice, true/false and matching, where the test taker can choose from among answers presented on the test.

Content Outline
A content outline provides an overall idea of what types of information will be included on an exam or what types of knowledge will be tested.

Continuing Education
Any type of additional educational courses, classes, seminars or other credits that are available or in some cases required for those who are licensed or certified for certain professions. Continuing education can also be taken outside of a traditional education to acquire new skills or pursue areas of academic interest.

Refers to a process of studying at the last minute where a large amount of information must be learned in a short amount of time just prior to an exam. This is not usually an effective method of studying for exams.

Various measures of academic achievement, such as course grades, testing scores, and other experiences that can be used to assess an individual.

Criterion-Referenced Tests
Tests that determine how well a person performs in reference to a measured set of criteria to determine if they are performing adequately or have learned enough to meet a minimum set of standards.

Curve Grading
Determining the grade or level of proficiency on an academic exam based on how the person performed relative to all test takers that take the exam, rather than specifically basing the score on just the test taker's answers to the questions.

Developmental Screening
A general overview of a child's abilities in order to determine those children that may require additional evaluation and assessment to determine whether there are developmental delays or other issues that need to be addressed.

Drag and Drop
A question posed on an exam that requires the test taker to drag items and drop them in a particular order or location in order to successfully answer the question.

When an individual meets all of the criteria required in order to be allowed to take a test, register for a course, or attend an academic insitution.

English as a Second Language (ESL)
The instruction of English to those who do not speak English as their first and primary language. There are quite a few ways that this teaching can be incorporated into an educational curriculum.

Essay Tests
Similar to constructed-response tests, in which the test taker writes an open ended answer to a question asked on a test. In essay tests, there is usually one main question or set of questions given and the test taker must write a few paragraphs or a specified amount of information to answer the question.

Filing Deadline
The last date that an individual can register for an exam and provide all information and fees required, as well as any necessary applications or documents.

Fill in the Blanks
Require a test taker to write in the correct response to a question, without being able to choose from sample answers on the exam materials. This is similar to an open ended question but usually only requires a single word or short statement, as opposed to the lengthier response required by open ended questions.

The General Educational Development (GED) test is an opportunity for those individuals that did not obtain a high school diploma to earn a high school equivalency diploma. It tests academic knowledge that is at the level that high school graduates are expected to master.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is the primary standardized test used by acadmic insitutions to assess candidates applying for enrollment in an MBA program.

Grade Point Average (GPA)
The average grade of a student, which is determined by adding up all of the grades the student has earned in all courses taken during a specified period and dividing the total of those grades by the total number of classes.

The successful completion of an academic course of study that results in the conference of a degree or diploma or allows the individual to move on to the next level of study.

Graphing Calculator
An electronic device that can plot graphs, determine variables, solve equations and more. Some exams allow graphing calculators to be utilized during the exam and others ban them from the testing area.

Provides information about a course of study or test information and materials and may include sample questions, practice exams and study guide outlines.

Tests that are scored by a person, rather than a computer. In most cases, there is some level of subjective judgment involved in scoring the test, such as when scoring an essay, determining if a person performed an activity correctly or assessing the answers to open ended questions.

Heterogeneous Grouping
A process of mixing up individuals or students with a wide range of abilities in one group. In the case of a classroom situation, this requires an educator to meet the needs of a broad range of students.

Higher Order Thinking Skills
A more complex way of problem solving than simply remembering facts and information. These skills help individuals learn to solve real world problems and retain information well.

Hot Spot Questions
A question on a test that requires the test taker to select a specific area on the image shown on the test to identify the correct answer.

A document or piece of information that identifies a person as who they claim to be (like a drivers' license). Many tests require test takers to show some form of identification to prove that they are the person that is registered to take the test.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)
A written document that ensures that those who need special education services have the information clearly defined. The document includes present educational levels, methods of assistance or intervention, and goals.

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
A written document that clearly defines the procedure that is required to transition a child to certain specialized education programs or school related programs.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
IDEA ensures that all children with disabilities in the United States are provided with early intervention, special education and other services. The law was enacted by the federal government.

A process that involves questioning a situation or problem by having individuals investigate various aspects of the problem and developing a solution to the problem by working through different scenarios.

Institution Code
A unique code for each college or university. This code is used on testing forms to note where test scores need to be sent, or where education was completed. This is also sometimes known as the federal school code.

An academic course or exam that derives information or subject matter from multiple disciplines and combines it into one course or exam at the same time.

Learning Disabilities
Arise when the brain has difficulty processing sensory information. Information may not be properly received, stored, processed or communicated, but learning disabilities are not a factor of intelligence.

Letter of Recommendation
A letter written by another person, usually a former teacher or employer, that attests to the candidates ability to be accepted into an academic instiution, to be eligible to sit for an exam, or to be hired by an employer.

Licensing Board
Groups or organizations that are in charge of issuing licenses for various professions and determining the requirements that must be met to receive a license. Licensing boards are usually run by state governments.

A set of criteria that is determined to be the minimum standards that must be met to perform a specific task. These standards are determined by an official governing body and are mandatory.

The LSAT is a standardized exam that is taken prior to applying to law school and is one of the most important factors to determine whether a candidate is accepted into a law school program.

Make-Up Examination
An exam that is given at a date later than the original date selected to take the exam. Make-up exams are given because the test taker was unable to be present at the time the original test was given, and can be a result of a variety of reasons.

Hands-on tools to teach an academic topic, such as math, to students. They can also be used in a testing environment to have a test taker display how a task is performed or what an answer is by physically manuevering an object to create the desired answer.

Matching Questions
Test questions that are comprised of two lists of items that must be paired up to determine which item in the first column corresponds to another item in the second column.

The process of being enrolled in an educational institution in pursuit of a degree of some type, such as a bachelors, associate, masters, or doctoral degree.

Matrix Sampling
A method of assessing a group by having each individual that comprises the group complete a portion of the assessment and combining all of the scores to analyze the results as a group (ie., to rank a school or class).

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is designed to test academic skills as well as other learning and reasoning skills related to the study of medicine and is used as one of the criteria when applying to medical schools.

A process by which individuals can be taught a task by having someone show them how to do the task and then having them repeat or copy what is shown to them.

Multiple-Choice Question
A question given on an exam that provides the test taker with more than one possible answer to the question posed from which they have to choose the correct answer or answers.

The process of being enrolled in a course or set of courses at an academic institution that does not specifically lead to receiving an academic degree of some type, such as an associate, bachelors, masters or doctoral degree.

Norm-Referenced Assessment
A determination of an individual's performance in comparison to the results of how a larger group performs on the same test (for example, how a student performs compared to other students in the same grade level throughout the same state or throughout the country).

Official Score Report
Reports that are sent out from the organization in charge of administering a test to test recipients, academic institutions or potential employers or licensing boards and contain the official grades received on an exam.

Open Book Exam
An exam in which test takers are allowed to use their notes, books, or other educational materials during an exam to help them answer questions.

Open-Ended Questions
A type of test question that requires the test taker to write in their answer to the question in their own words, without being able to choose from a pre-selected choice of questions. Scoring for open ended questions is usually subjective.

A system of scoring that does not give test takers an actual numerical grade or letter grade but only differentiates between those who pass the exam and those who fail.

Pearson VUE
A third-party testing center that administers exams nationwide and in 165 countries. Many organizations that offer standardized tests use a testing facility such as Pearson VUE to admininster the exams.

Percentile Rank
A method of assessing how an individual, group or school performs in comparison to a specific norm (usually in relation to how others perform nationally), factored in percentages.

Performance Assessment
A process by which individuals can be tested on how well they know a subject or have appropriate knowledge for a task by having them perform the task and determining whether they exhibit knowledge or skills related to the performance.

Performance Tests
Tests that determine a person's ability to adequately perform a specific physical task or set of tasks. These tests do not have written questions and answers.

Practice Exam
A simulated test that is similar in style and content to an actual test that will be taken by an individual. These exams are used as a way to help an individual prepare for taking the actual exam.

A requirement that must be previously met. This is usually in the form of a course that must be taken before another course can be taken or a set of criteria that must be met prior to being eligible to take an exam.

Problem Solving
Involves higher order thinking skills. In a test scenario there are a variety of questions that can test problem solving abilities, including open ended questions, essays, demonstrations, and more.

A person that monitors test takers during the administration of an exam to oversee that the test environment meets all guidelines and to ensure that the test is completed properly.

Professional Accreditation
A form of institutional accreditation specific to certain departments or programs within a school that demonstrates that a high level of quality has been achieved or specific standards have been met.

A third-party testing center that administers many types of academic, professional, corporate and government tests at centers nationwide.

Raw Scores
The actual number of points a test taker receives for correctly answering questions on a test. It does not take into account the total number of questions asked or the percentage of questions answered correctly.

Reference Manual
Contains information about a subject matter or multiple subjects that is organized in a specific fashion to make it easier to look up the information.

The formal process of applying to take an exam or an academic course. Some registrations can be done by computer, while others must be done on paper. Fees sometimes must accompany registrations for tests and academic courses.

Relates to score consistency by an individual over multiple administrations of the same test. This indicates that the person will receive the same scores regardless of when the test is taken, who scores the test, or other variables.

A set of standards or guidelines that are used to evaluate academic work and determine achievement and assessment.

The SAT is an exam used by many colleges and universities to determine the academic reasoning ability of students applying to the school. SAT's are typically taken in high school and measure mathematical and verbal reasoning ability.

A range of scores that an individual can receive on a test or any type of assessment. The scale used relates to how the scoring is determined.

Scaled Scores
An overall summary of the level of performance achieved by a test taker on a test, as determined by the answers to all questions on the exam and set on a predetermined scale to measure performance.

Specialty Exams
Exams that are more specific to a certain content area or multiple content areas. These are usually taken in addition to a more generalized test and are intended to further display knowledge or receive certification (such as in nursing exams).

Standardized Tests
Tests that are administered to all students or individuals testing for a specific purpose in the same format and with the same questions. They are mass produced tests that are the same no matter where or when they are taken.

A minimum set of guidelines that dictate what students should be able to achieve, demonstrate or know at specific points or grade levels. Standards are usually set by government agencies or school districts.

Study Guide
Helps individuals study for a test by including information about the content contained on the test, helpful hints about how to study or take the test and other useful test taking information.

Test Anxiety
Can occur when an individual is overly nervous or anxious when preparing for or taking a test. High levels of test anxiety can interfere with performance on the test by making it difficult to remember or demonstrate what was previously learned.

Test Prep Courses
Courses that help individuals prepare for and study for tests in an effort to improve test performance. Test prep courses are offered for many types of tests.

Third-Party Testing Facility
A location that administers tests as an agent for an organization that offers acadmic or other types of tests. These centers allow individuals to take the tests at various facilities, often on their own schedule, and the third party testing facility handles the administration of the test.

Time Limit
Determines the length of time a test taker has to finish a test or a component of a test. All questions must be completed within the specified amount of time in order to be counted as valid answers.

Traditional Assessment
A method in which a test taker responds to a set of test questions in a traditional question and answer format such as multiple choice, matching, true/false, or fill in the blank.

An official record of a student's academic courses and corresponding grades. A transcript is issued by the attending school and is required for college applications, to determine eligibility for specific tests, and in some cases for professional reasons.

A question on a test comprised of a statement that is made where the test taker must determine whether the statement as presented is true or false.

A student enrolled in a post secondary academic instution that is in a program leading to a bachelors degree.

A process of determining whether a test, question, or set of questions consistently measures what it is supposed to measure and is relevant to the material.

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