When you want to appraise a person or a student, you’re going to need a tool that measures the individual’s mastery of a subject. Achievement testing can help gauge a person’s understanding within a domain of knowledge. It also provides guidance and benefits the individual because the scores reveal knowledge gaps

.In this article, we will discuss in detail what an achievement test is, its types, uses, and how you can create yours with Formplus. Let’s dive in!

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What is an Achievement Test?

An achievement test measures how an individual has learned over time and what the individual has learned by analyzing his present performance. It also measures how a person understands and masters a particular knowledge area at the present time. With this test, you can analyze just how quick and precise an individual is in performing the tasks that they consider an accomplishment.

An achievement test is an excellent choice to analyze and evaluate the academic performance of an individual. 

For instance, every school requires its students to show their proficiency in a variety of subjects.

In most cases, the students are expected to pass to some degree to move to the next class. An achievement test will record and evaluate the performance of these students to determine how well they are performing against the standard.

Use this: Free Student Performance Report Form Template

Purpose of Achievement Testing 

The primary aim of an achievement test is to evaluate an individual. An achievement test however can start an action plan. 

An individual may get a higher achievement score that shows that the person has shown a high level of mastery and is ready for an advanced level of instruction. On the other hand, a low achievement score might indicate that there are concerned areas that an individual should improve on, or that a particular subject should be repeated.

For example, a student can decide to start a study plan because of the result of an achievement test. So it can serve as a motivation to improve or an indicator to proceed to a higher level. An achievement test is used in both the educational sector and in the professional sector.

Explore this Free Course Evaluation Form Template

Categories of Achievement Tests

Achievement tests are categorized into two major groups based on participation.

  • Individual test

An individual test is a one-on-one, in-depth test. It entails the participant seeing an examiner on a one-on-one basis (This mostly takes three hours) after which the participant is presented with the interpreted result of the test, and also recommendations. The participant also gets 30 minutes with the examiner. The examiner will give feedback, explain the result, and also provide answers to all other questions.

  • Group test

A group test is when participants or students take part in an achievement test together. Maybe in a hall or in a classroom. It is more affordable and timesaving compared to individual tests. When the test is completed, the participants each receive a printed sheet detailing their results.

Types of Achievement Tests

There are five types of achievement tests: diagnostic tests, prognostic tests, accuracy tests, power tests, and speed tests.

1. Diagnostic test

A diagnostic test is an assessment test designed to serve as a pre-test. It is administered at the start of a topic. Also used to garner data to determine the students’ or participants’ level of knowledge of a subject, it is usually a written assessment in the form of multiple-choice or short-answer tests.

The aim is to find out what the student or participant knows at the moment. A diagnostic achievement test allows the examiner and the participant to monitor their teaching approach and learning progress.

2. Prognostic test

The prognostic test is a means to predict the future. This test combines the knowledge obtained from the test performed on the learning process and other tests performed on learning achievements before trying to diagnose the future of a participant or student.

3. Accuracy test

An accuracy test measures the degree of closeness between the result that was gotten from a text when it is compared to the standard. It refers to the quality of the results even when the test is repeated. A test can be accurate if, in reproducibility, the results are close to the standard.

4. Power test

A power test is a testing tool comprising many items that when applied, has no time limit. This means that in an achievement test, a participant or student has unlimited time to respond to the questions. So this will allow them attempt all the questions in the test. 

The final score of the student or participant is analyzed and interpreted to mean the number of questions that the students answered correctly.

The difference in the results obtained from the student is interpreted as each students’ ability to respond to the test and not to the time it took a student to understand the question or answer it.

The student’s level of knowledge about a subject is measured under little to zero pressure. This is because they are given ample time to answer the test.

5. Speed test

Unlike the power test, a speed test is created for the student to respond to, in a limited time. In this test, however, the questions are simple and they are intended to be answered in sequence. For example from the first question to the last one because of the limited time allocated to this test. 

If the difficulty level of the test keeps increasing, then none of the students might be able to complete the questions, unlike the power test where students are given enough time.

The aim of the speed test is to measure how quickly a student can complete a question within a limited time. It measures a student’s ability to quickly process information and give an accurate response.

Research with this free Student Perception Survey Template

Characteristics of a Good Achievement Test

Now, what makes a good achievement test? To shed light on the characteristics of a good achievement test we are going to consider four qualities that make an excellent test.

1. Reliability

In an achievement test reliability refers to how consistently the test produces the same results when it is measured or evaluated.

For a test to be reliable it means that the outcome of the test is trustworthy. 

So for an achievement test to be considered accurate and valid, it must be consistent. It must measure what is intended to measure in its true value.

We can say that the degree to which the test is free from error is one characteristic of an achievement test. When a test is repeated, if the value is close to what was initially obtained, then it is said to be reliable.

Note that different types of reliability are evaluated using different methods.

  • The first on the list is how consistent the results of the measurements are over a certain amount of time.
  • The second one is how consistent is the result of the measurement when it has been evaluated using different methods and instruments.
  • The last way to determine how consistent an achievement test is how consistent it has been with just one instrument or method of testing.

Appraise with this free Teacher Evaluation Survey Template

2. Validity

One important thing to consider when conducting an evaluation assessment is how much the results of the test will serve the purpose for which it was intended. Finding an answer to this question is the basis of validity in a test. The primary function of any test is validity because a text has no value if it is not valid hence it won’t prove useful.

The validity of a test involves what it is intended to measure and how consistent it measures it.

For instance, an educator might not determine how conversant a student is in a particular knowledge area without conducting an evaluation test.

If the test was conducted and the results did not measure what it was intended to measure, the educator might not accurately determine what the strengths of the students are. Also, the educator might struggle to know whether the student is ready for a higher level of instruction. We can infer that validity is how appropriate the interpretation made from the result of a test is, regarding a specific topic.

3. Objectivity

Objectivity can affect both the reliability and validity of test results. The objectivity of a test refers to the percentage at which different people scoring a test can arrive at the same score. A good test must be free from personal errors and bias.

Achievement tests must have objectivity in the scoring and in interpreting the results. No personal factor should affect the scoring of the test. Also, the interpretation of the test results should be plainly worded and easy to understand.

Finally, the results of the test should mean the same to all the students that took part in the test. So, there should be no partial confusion and no ambiguity.

4. Usability

You cannot neglect the practical value of a test. When deciding on a test, consider the ease of administration, the time required to administer the test, and how easy it is to interpret the result of the test and apply it.

It must also be easy to use by all classroom teachers, so explicit instructions should be given.

The test should have a specified time allocated to complete it and scores of the test should be easy to interpret. 

Uses of Achievement testing

  • Teachers

The teacher-made test is designed to examine the local curriculum and measure its effectiveness to the students’ performance.

The flexibility of the teacher-made test makes it appropriate to adapt to any procedure. Also, it is easy to construct as it doesn’t need any special requirements for its preparation.

Teacher-made tests are developed to meet the locals’ objectives the same way as the standard or administrator test is developed to generally measure learning objectives.

It is worthy to note that teacher-made tests can be written or oral and procedures for storing them vary depending on the test. Also, both objective and essay types of tests can be included in a teacher-made test.

  • Administrators

An administrative test is developed by specialists. It has uniformity in scoring, application, and interpretation of the test results. What an administrator test or standardized test does is that it compares the performance of some students with a general group standard.

An administrator test gives clear instructions about how the test should be administered and interpreted so that there will be uniformity.

The test is highly reliable and there’s a provision for how to uniformly score the test in the test manual.

How to Construct Achievement Tests with Formplus

Formplus allows you to collect data by creating different types of forms and surveys. It has over 1,000 templates you can choose from to create your form from scratch. 

To create an achievement test, here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it. 

1. To start with, visit formpl.us. If you do not have an account, then click the sign-up button to get started.

Don’t worry, it’s super easy. If you already opened an account with Formplus, sign in to your account.

Once you’re signed in, click on your Formplus dashboard. 

2. Click on the “create new form” to access the form builder feature, from there click on the form builder and make use of the options on the left and start creating your test. 

3. Use the drag-and-drop option to include all the field sections. Use the edit icon to change the fields you added.

4. Once you’re done with the modification, at the right side corner of the builder, click the save button.

5. Now here is the fun part, Formplus allows you to customize your forms. Beautify your achievement form by clicking the “customization” option.

This feature allows you to add your logo, change the font of the text, and even change the layout of the form.

6. When you’re done creating your achievement test, copy your form link and share it with your participants.

You can embed the link and share it through email. You can also print out your form and apply it traditionally.

Examples of Achievement Tests

For the purpose of this article and to further understand the concept of achievement tests we are going to look at some examples. 

Example 1:

The students of a school have completed their coursebook from units 1 to 6. To evaluate their mastery of the coursebook the teacher gives them an achievement test. The achievement test given by the teacher is based on what has been learned in the coursebook.

Example 2:

Let us assume that you have been practicing martial arts so that you could get the black belt in your last week of training. You are required to show your skills in class for your Master to judge.

This is an achievement test. It is designed to evaluate what you have learned and the skills you have acquired over time. An achievement test is not designed to evaluate what you can achieve, it is focused on what you have gained in knowledge, and the skills that you have gained over time.

Example 3:

An achievement test was administered on a group, let’s call them Group D. When the results of their test were analyzed their mean score was 65. After 4 days the same test was administered on Group D, and again their mean score is 65.

This implies that the achievement test is providing reliable results.

The good thing about the achievement test is that it gives the educator and the parents the opportunity to assess how well their word is doing in a field or at school. You should also note that the achievement test is not only for the students, the academic domain achievement test is used to assess both the student, the teacher, and the school.


Achievement tests are very vital in evaluating set goals and accomplishments. Get started by creating simple achievement tests with Formplus for free.

  • busayo.longe
  • on 11 min read


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