Run internationally, regionally and nationally, are meant to produce evidence-based information which helps policy-makers and all relevant stakeholders to diagnose the performance of the education system, as well as its contributing factors (many large-scale assessments collect background information in order to place the results in a broader context). They are based on specific set of standards or learning goals previously defined. Administered either to all of the students in the target grade (census-based assessments) or to a representative proportion of them (sample-based assessments), they require all test takers to answer the same set of questions (standardized tests). (Clarke, 2011).
Clarke, M. 2011. Framework for Building an Effective Student Assessment System. Washington DC: The World Bank Group. Retrieved from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED553178.pdf