Assessment refers to the collection of information –– using specially designed instruments –– regarding a student’s initial skill level and the development of his or her literacy and language skills as a result of instruction. As part of its effort to comply with federal National Reporting System (NRS) guidelines, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) mandates that adult education programs use standardized tests to determine students’ initial skill levels, as well as the educational gain they achieve as a result of their participation in a program.