Performance testing is a way of finding out what a person can do as distinct from what he knows about or what he claims to be able to do. It is therefore rather surprising that such an obviously useful testing method has for so long remained a rather neglected member of the testing family. Paper and pencil tests of aptitude and achievement on the other hand have been in widespread use and a considerable industry has grown up around them. It is not necessary to look very far to see why paper and pencil tests have enjoyed such popularity; they are usually an efficient and economical method of testing. The economic aspect is a particularly important one, since written tests can be given to large groups at a single sitting and marked quickly. Performance tests on the other hand are usually longer and require a lower tester/candidate ratio.
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