to test something in the field, i. e. under the actual conditions under which it will be used; as, The Army field-tested the new tanks. Used in contrast with testing in a laboratory or under controlled conditions.
A field test is the second stage of pre-testing and is given one year prior to the operational NAEP assessment. At field test, the student assessment instrument for the following year is finalized. The instrument is administered to a nationally representative sample of students, and IRT scaling decisions are made using the response data. NOTE: Previously, the term "field test" was used to refer to the first stage of item tryout in all NAEP subject-area assessments. However, beginning with the 2003 assessments, the term applies only to reading and mathematics. The stage of testing formerly referred to as a field test, starting in 2003 and in all future assessments, will be referred to as the "pilot test." All items in NAEP assessments are pilot tested, but only reading and mathematics are field tested.