Evaluation Glossary

Performance Assessment

A test in which the test taker actually demonstrates the skills the test is intended to measure by doing real-world tasks that require those skills, rather than by answering questions asking how to do them. Typically, those tasks involve actions other than marking a space on an answer sheet or clicking a button on a computer screen. A pencil-and-paper test can be a performance assessment, but only if the skills to be measured can be exhibited, in a real-world context, with a pencil and paper.


Glossary of standardized testing terms. Princeton, NJ: ETS.

Related Terms

Formative Assessment
Summative Assessment