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Psychology Glossary of Terms

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Achievement tests

Definition:
standardised tests that assess a person's mastery and knowledge of a particular subject (eg., arithmetic, reading).
 
Background:
Results from achievement tests are generally used for educational purposes or for the purposes of selecting new employees for government and industrial jobs. When they are used for employee selection, they typically involve the abilities and skills needed for the job. Information assessed by an achievement test has been acquired in a controlled setting such as a classroom. For example, if you applied for a job that involved a lot of typing, you might be given a timed typing test-the goal being to match individuals with jobs they are suited to. A career counsellor may use the information gleaned from achievement tests to help you determine what type of job might be most appropriate for you.
 
Further Reading:

Anastasi, A. (1982). Psychological testing. (5th ed.). New York: MacMillan.

Sudenberg, N. D., & Matarazzo, J. D. (1979). Psychological assessment of individuals. In M. E. Meyer (Ed.), Foundations of contemporary psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Tyler, L. E. (1974). Individual differences. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall.

 
Related Terms:
Achievement motive

Self-Instructional Resources:
Take a 2-item self-test over this concept.

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