Corroll (1968) provides the following definition of a test
A psychological or educational test is a procedure designed to elicit certain behavior from which one can make inferences about certain characteristic of an individual.
Test is a measurement instrument designed to elicit a specific sample of an individual’s behavior and, distinguishes a test from other types of measurement is that it is designed to obtain a specific sample of behavior.
Measurement in the social sciences is the process of persons according to explicit procedures and rules. It includes three distinguishing features:
Quantification involves the assigning of number, and this distinguishes measures from qualitative descriptions such as verbal accounts or verbal, visual representations.
We can assign physical and mental characteristic of persons.
a. Physical attributes such as height and weight can be observed directly.
b. Mental attributes and abilities, sometime we called trains or constructs, which can only be observed indirectly, such as aptitudes, intelligence, motivation, field dependence/independence, attitude, native language, fluency in speaking, and achievement in reading comprehension.
3. And rules and procedures
The characteristic of measurement is that quantification must be done according to explicit rules and procedures.
It can be defined as the systematic gathering of information for the purpose of making decision. The probability of making the correct decision in any given situation is a function not only for the ability of the decision maker, but also of the quality of the information upon which the decision is based.
The word ‘assessment’ has taken over from terms such as ‘testing’. Firstly, it was seen as a broader term than ‘test’. It now encompasses many different educational practices, such as portfolios, case studies, presentations, simulations or computer-based activities. Secondly, it also took into account divergent processes of assessment such as teacher assessment, self-assessment and peer-assessment. Thirdly, it gave some expression to more liberal views in education that were opposed to the oppressive, mechanical and unthinking use of tests