What are the 3 Main Types of Assessment?

Writing assessments and taking exams are part and parcel of every student’s life. However, it is an age-old debate where academicians have wondered whether using assessment as a source of examination is correct or not. To dig deeper into the issue, we need to understand what the main assessment types are and their benefits.

You might have looked for teachers and guides who can help you with an assessment. Also, this can make you wonder why it is so crucial. Before we answer that, let’s discuss the three main kinds of assessment to be aware of:

While you may encounter various kinds of assessments in your academic life, they can all be classified into three main types.

1. Summative

Summative tests are the ones that are taken every semester or at the end of the annual year to get an idea of what the students have learned so far. As much as we would like to rate students as per their grades, it is not that easy. 

A student’s assessment grades depend on the topic, the student’s learning style, and the professor’s teaching style. Hence, the summative result obtained at the end is not always the best means to measure a child’s ability. This is why formative assessments were introduced.

Summative assessments are done at the end of the study year and are always graded.

2. Formative

Formative assessments are the ones that are done in between classes, like your class test or mock test in between before the final exams. This is a way of examining the knowledge so far, getting to know areas where students need development, and taking appropriate measures while there is still time.

Asking questions and a one-minute question-answer session to get started is also a way of formative assessment. This assessment type is used during the study time and is usually ungraded.

3. Diagnostic

Diagnostic assessments are the one that is done even before the classes start to know where the students stand. For example, a simple question asked on the first day of class about the topic is a diagnostic assessment. 

Asking questions, quizzes, and multiple choice questions are ways of doing it. Here, the main idea is determining the student’s knowledge. This helps teachers plan how to make up for the gaps in the learning, which benefits all the students in the class.

This also gives an idea of the average class intellect, emotional ideas, and perspectives. This can help the instructor and faculty to make choices and plan better. Many of us hate surprise tests on new topics, but this is simply one of the ways it helps professors examine students.  

Examples of Assessments

Here are a few examples to help you determine which is what:

  • A teacher may take the first class on global warming. But before beginning, he asks questions related to it. This gives an idea of how many students know about it, which helps the teacher go in depth to help students. This is a diagnostic assessment.
  • A surprise test conducted in the class on topics taught earlier in the week is an example of a formative test. This gives an idea of the student’s progress so far.
  • Asking students to solve a problem on board that was taught earlier is an example of formative assessment.
  • Taking annual exams at the end and giving long study breaks in between is a summative assessment.
  • However, mini-class tests taken to test their knowledge before final exams are examples of formative tests.
  • Dividing students into groups and assigning them different projects before a session is a diagnostic assessment. This helps students to study, work together, and find answers to the question. Here, the idea of practical knowledge is more pressed upon before actual theory classes. 

And there you go now you have all the knowledge on all assessment types. But are they really necessary? Too many assessments can make one nervous and create a dislike towards studies.

But little do they know that assessments are not just a part of the curriculum. They are also a means of pushing a child towards improvement.

Benefits of Assessments

Here are a few of the less-talked-about benefits of assessments:

Know about a student’s potential

One of the most important reasons for holding an assessment is to know the student’s potential. Many believe it is held for grading, which is true, but the overall significance of knowing the student’s potential remains the same. 

It assists the professors in determining the potential of the students, which further opens the door for improvement. One can be good in one subject and not in the other one. Overall, this helps teachers in finding the potential zones of success for the students and helps them out in the process. 

Knowing the potential areas of each student and everyone in general helps them schedule tests, exams, and other activities.

Areas that need less improvement can be paid less attention to, and problem areas can be deeply examined. This knowledge also helps offer individual training, which works better with students.

Give feedback on performance

The assessment is filled with questions that students have to answer. Based on the kind of answers written, professors can give them feedback that is specifically tailored to them.

Giving feedback is also a crucial part of the teaching administration. This part is not possible without holding tests. Personalized feedback can be used for individual students, helping them know and get over their problem zones. 

Tips on composing better answers, adding and eliminating topics, and utilizing them can help students make up for their loss of grades in the coming exams.

Feedback is crucial in any area; the same goes for this one. Without feedback on their assessments, students can stay directionless, having no hopes of improvement.

Plan the academic year

Over 70% of teachers say assessments are often not the right way to judge students. Assessments are vital not only for students but also for professors. Educational institutions estimate the average based on the student’s performance. This helps them plan their classes, topics, and subjects to be included or excluded in the coming semester.

Not only this, it also allows them to decide how often tests need to be conducted, what kind of tests have to be conducted, and set a bar for students. Every curriculum planned results from all these assessments combined, which in turn helps the coming generation improve. 

Involve parents

We have all gone through the stages of teachers and parents meeting, and as a child, we all hated it. Although students may feel ashamed or mocked in case of bad subjects, the intention is never that. After assessments, teachers get to decide about it with the parents.

After getting the idea, parents can use this information to plan their children’s future. They can conduct extra classes, get guidance from the professor, and pay more attention. Overall, it allows them to take all necessary steps to help them improve. Assessment grades are the proofs that help one pick point the weak zones and involve parents in third children development. 

Motivate students to perform better

In the end, assistance is a way of motivating students. Through assessment, students feel the natural push to do better, become the next topper, and beat their competitors. Sometimes, it’s not only about grades but also helps one develop essential life skills. Students develop skills to be patient, hardworking, beat obstacles, and be more intellectual.

These skills are useful for life, and students can use them in any life path. Assessments push students to do better and get better grades. 

And now you know all the very reasons why assessments are necessary. Focus on differentiating the three and making better plans for your academic results. Look at the bright side of it and work done to improve your academic situation.