what is an achievement test

An achievement test is a test of developed skill or knowledge. The most common type of achievement test is a standardized test developed to measure skills and knowledge learned in a given grade level, usually through planned instruction, such as training or classroom instruction

Achievement test scores are often used in an educational system to determine what level of instruction for which a student is prepared. High achievement scores usually indicate a mastery of grade-level material, and the readiness for advanced instruction. Low achievement scores can indicate the need for remediation or repeating a course grade.

Under No Child Left Behind, achievement tests have taken on an additional role of assessing proficiency of students. Proficiency is defined as the amount of grade-appropriate knowledge and skills a student has acquired up to the point of testing. Better teaching practices are expected to increase the amount learned in a school year, and therefore to increase achievement scores, and yield more “proficient” students than before.