Criterion-referenced assessments refer to assessments designed to evaluate the performance of individual students against well-specified performance criteria or standards. Criterion-referenced assessments comprise a broad range of assessments used to support purposes that can span from improving instructional practices to providing comparative performance information about schools to policymakers. Although distinctions are commonly drawn between criterion-referenced and norm-referenced tests, both criterion-referenced and norm-referenced interpretations of scores can be applied to some types of criterion-referenced assessments.