What are the types of assessment?

There are different types of assessment in education. All assessment methods have different purposes during and after instruction. This article will tell you what types of assessment are most important during developing and implementing your instruction.

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Pre-assessment or diagnostic assessment

Before creating the instruction, it’s necessary to know for what kind of students you’re creating the instruction. Your goal is to get to know your student’s strengths, weaknesses and the skills and knowledge the posses before taking the instruction. Based on the data you’ve collected, you can create your instruction.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment is used in the first attempt of developing instruction. The goal is to monitor student learning to provide feedback. It helps identifying the first gaps in your instruction. Based on this feedback you’ll know what to focus on for further expansion for your instruction.

Summative assessment

Summative assessment is aimed at assessing the extent to which the most important outcomes at the end of the instruction have been reached. But it measures more: the effectiveness of learning, reactions on the instruction and the benefits on a long-term base. The long-term benefits can be determined by following students who attend your course, or test. You are able to see whether and how they use the learned knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Read more about formative and summative assessments.

Confirmative assessment

When your instruction has been implemented in your classroom, it’s still necessary to take assessment. Your goal with confirmative assessments is to find out if the instruction is still a success after a year, for example, and if the way you're teaching is still on point. You could say that a confirmative assessment is an extensive form of a summative assessment.

Norm-referenced assessment

This compares a student’s performance against an average norm. This could be the average national norm for the subject History, for example. Other example is when the teacher compares the average grade of his or her students against the average grade of the entire school.

Criterion-referenced assessment

It measures student’s performances against a fixed set of predetermined criteria or learning standards. It checks what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education. Criterion-referenced tests are used to evaluate a specific body of knowledge or skill set, it’s  a test to evaluate the curriculum taught in a course.

Ipsative assessment

It measures the performance of a student against previous performances from that student. With this method you’re trying to improve yourself by comparing previous results. You’re not comparing yourself against other students, which may be not so good for your self-confidence. 

Read more about Assessment methods and strategies and the Objectives of assessment and evaluation or try our Online Assessment Tool.

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Northern Illinois University

Frequently asked questions

✔️ What are the types of assessment?
Pre-assessment or diagnostic assessment, Formative assessment, Summative assessment, Confirmative assessment, Norm-referenced assessment, Criterion-referenced assessment and Ipsative assessment.

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