Pre-tests are a non-graded assessment tool used to determine pre-existing subject knowledge. Typically pre-tests are administered prior to a course to determine knowledge baseline, but here they are used to test students prior to topical material coverage throughout the course. While counterintuitive, the pre-tests cover material the student is not expected to know, but serve as a motivational tool and a road map for the students, resulting in improved course performance.
Berry, Thomas, "Pre-test Assessment" (2008). Publications – Dreihaus College of Business. 63.