Criterion-Referenced Test


This is a type of assessment designed to provide a measure of performance that is interpretable in terms of clearly defined and delimited domain of learning task (Reganit et. al., 2010).

Criterion-referenced test is used to describe student performance according to a specified domain of clearly defined learning tasks (Gabuyo, 2012). It is also a standard used to measure whether or not the objective has been achieved (Buendicho, 2010).

Criterion-referenced test emphasizes descriptions of what learning tasks individuals can and cannot perform (Reganit et. al., 2010). These are tests used to determine learners’ mastery of a skill, knowledge, or any subject matter taught to them with reference to criterion established which is usually an absolute standard (Calderon & Gonzales, 1993) and used to determine the achievement of individuals with a comparison to a criterion, usually an absolute standard (Calderon & Gonzales, 1993).

  • Uses a specific preset from which a student’s performance is compared without referring to other students’ performance (Rico, 2011).


  • Suppose the criterion set for a test is 75%. All those obtaining 75% and above pass the learning task, and all those below fail or at least need re-teaching (Calderon& Gonzales, 1993).
  • BAR, CPA, medical and nursing examinations (Calderon& Gonzales, 1993).


Buendicho, F., 2011. Assessment of learning 1. 1st ed. Rex Book Store. Manila, Philippines.
Gabuyo, Y., 2012. Assessment of Learning I, Textbook and Reviewer. Rex Book Store. Manila, Philippines.
Reganit, A., et al., 2010. Assessment of student learning I (Cognitive Learning). C&E Publishing, Inc. Quezon City, Philippines.