The 7 Different Types Of Assessment In Education

Assessment is a vital part of education. The process can be applied to a broad range of situations, including student performance. In order for educators to help their students, they need to know their strengths and weaknesses in every subject.

Educators have long since discovered the value of assessment in the learning process. Students can excel when their teachers routinely assess their knowledge of different topics. Educators, on the other hand, can utilise the data collected through assessments to improve their lessons. It is a win-win for educators and students when assessments are implemented, beginning as early as preschool.

The Common Types Of Educational Assessments

Professors can use various assessments to learn more about their students and the progress they’ve made. The most common assessments used by teachers include diagnostic assessments, summative assessments, ipsative assessments, and norm-referenced assessments.

Other possible options include formative assessments and confirmative assessments. Teachers should use a combination of these assessments to follow the progress of their pupils throughout the course. While the terms tests and assessments are sometimes used interchangeably, there are key differences between them.

Assessments can help improve the learning capabilities of the student. Tests will be used to gauge a student’s knowledge.


Confirmative assessment allows educators to evaluate their lessons. Teachers tend to utilise the same instructions year after year. While this helps keep the workload to a minimum, it is not suitable for some classrooms. There may come a time when the lessons need to be adapted to ensure the information is up to date.

Experts recommend implementing a confirmative assessment each new school term. A confirmative assessment should be implemented for every subject to ensure all lessons are still on target.

Confirmative assessments are used regularly because they can help provide immediate, actionable results. They also help determine whether the course has been effective. Confirmative assessments can be used to study a student’s progress after one lesson or after the course has concluded. It is essential to use confirmative assessments to ensure that the lessons are effective and the student is learning the required material.

Once a teacher has finished his or her instructions, it is essential to assess the knowledge of the students. Some students may understand the subject immediately, but it may take more effort for other students. 


Formative assessment is key to lesson development in all grade levels. Preschool, middle school, and high school teachers are recommended to apply formative assessments to their instruction development processes.

The information collected through a formative assessment can be valuable for all educators. When implemented correctly, teachers can identify initial gaps in their instruction.

Develop more precise instructions utilising formative assessment. There is no end to the possibilities when educators routinely assess their lesson development strategies.


Depending on what the teacher wants to study, they may want to perform an Ipsative assessment. The unique assessment is very effective for determining how much someone has improved compared to past performances. Students can also use Ipsative assessments to ensure that they’re learning more and improving.

Remember that it may not be a good idea to judge a student based on the performances of other students because that could hurt their self-esteem. Instead, ipsative assessments should be used to primarily judge a student based on their past performances.


Every curriculum will have specific goals. For instance, the goal may be to help the student reach a certain threshold on the upcoming exam. The curriculum will be designed to help the student learn the necessary material to boost their results. In this scenario, a criterion-referenced assessment will prove to be very helpful.

It can help evaluate a student’s performance based on the standards of the curriculum. Using this type of assessment can help chart the student’s progress over the course of their studies. It will check to gauge how much a student knows about the material in the curriculum.

It can also help determine whether a student is behind and hasn’t learned what they should at the stage in question. Using a criterion-referenced assessment is an effective way to find out that a student is behind so steps can be taken to help them catch up.

Using Norm-Referenced Assessments

It is common for teachers to use norm-referenced assessments to study the knowledge of their students. With this assessment, the student’s performance will be compared to the typical performances of other students. For instance, a student may be asked to take a maths test. Then, their score will be compared to the scores of last year’s students.

It may be determined that this year’s students are behind in their scores. Alternatively, the assessment can compare one student’s scores to the scores of all students at the school. It is wise to use this assessment to ensure that no student is falling behind their peers.

Summative Assessments

Summative assessments provide diverse benefits since they can provide so much valuable information. They’re typically used to assess how effectively the desired outcomes have been achieved. However, this assessment is going to provide even more information. For instance, it will determine how the pupils reacted to the lesson and whether they understood the information.

It can also figure out the overall effectiveness of the lesson. Finally, a summative assessment will help identify the long-term benefits. It can be more difficult to conduct a summative assessment because the student may need to be followed for the long term. It’ll help the teacher discover how much of the information was absorbed by the student and whether they’ve learned the skills.

Summative assessments are primarily used to study students over longer periods.


There are various types of educational assessments with each providing undeniable benefits. It is essential for professors to gain a better understanding of each type so they can use them to learn more about the progress of their students. Depending on the situation, the teacher may use an ipsative assessment or a norm-referenced assessment to study the specified criteria.

Each type can be used simultaneously to develop a better idea of the student’s progress. Then, the information can be used to develop a plan to help them achieve the end educational goal.

Author Profile

James Barron
My first experience of teaching was in 2016, when I was asked to
deliver a talk to a group of 16-year-olds on what it was like to start
your own business. I immediately knew I wanted to become more
involved in teaching but I didn’t know where to start as I had not
previously considered a career in education. A few weeks later I
agreed to teach a class of Chinese students from the Shanghai
Technical Institute of Electronics and Information, who had travelled
to the UK to learn English and Software Engineering, after that I was
hooked. Within the next few years, I taught hundreds of students of
many different nationalities, aged from 16 to 60, and from
levels 2 to 6. I focused my time teaching with Bath University and
Bath College for several more years until I felt a change was in order.
For the last few years, I have taught remotely with several private
training organisations, provided dedicated one to one coaching
sessions, provided consultancy on teaching and assessment practices
and written about my experiences as a teacher. I plan to continue
with my current activities for the foreseeable future but I’m always
open to new teaching experiences.

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