Achievement tests are designed to measure the knowledge and skills students learned in school or to determine the academic progress they have made over a period of time. The tests may also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a schools and teachers, or identify the appropriate academic placement for a student—i.e., what courses or programs may be deemed most suitable, or what forms of academic support they may need. Achievement tests are “backward-looking” in that they measure how well students have learned what they were expected to learn.
However, the school feeding programme in Bangladesh, which has operated since 2002 in chronically food-insecure areas, has been evaluated and shown to be effective. In addition to increased enrolment and completion rates, improvements in achievement tests were recorded by children receiving fortified biscuits, after controlling for other factors. Participating children in grade 5 scored 15.7 percentage points overall above non-participating children (UNESCO, 2008: 124).