Tests are not questionnaires

Written, self-completed (or self-report) questionnaires are very similar to written tests, yet there is a basic difference between them. A 'test' takes a sample of the respondent's behavior/knowledge and, on the basis of this sample, inferences are made about the degree of the development of the individual's more general underlying competence/abilities/skills (e.g., overall L2 proficiency). Thus, a test measures how well someone can do something. In contrast, questionnaires do not have good or bad answers; they ask for information about the respondents (or 'informants') in a non-evaluative manner, without gauging their performance against a set of criteria or against the performance of a norm group. Thus, although some commercially available questionnaires are actually called 'tests,' these are not tests in the same sense as achievement or aptitude tests.

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