Criterion referenced testing is a means of measuring a person’s mastery of a subject based on specific standards – the standards are set by the evaluator. The questions used in the test are meant to show how much a person actually knows and how that person’s performance compares to expectations.
Criterion referenced testing is the method most often used by teachers. For example, a teacher announces that for mid-terms, all the questions will come from chapters 1-6 and that students need know all the definitions in those chapters. Also, the teacher states that a passing grade will be 70 – and a score of 60 or below will mean that the person had poor retention or understanding of the information, and did not fulfill the expectation of knowing definitions of important terms.