What is it?
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What is it? 

The word 'assessment' is derived from the Latin ‘assidere’ meaning ‘to sit down beside’, it involves making informed judgments about pupils’ achievement and progress and is therefore based on evidence of what pupils know, understand and can do.

Assessment can be used in a variety of ways to identify pupils strengths and weaknesses (diagnostic assessment), to grade them and identify their overall achievements in relation to established criteria (summative assessment) or to assist the pupils in their learning (formative assessment).

Each of the three types of assessment have their place, it actually depends what the aim of the assessment is, i.e. it is what you want to achieve with the assessment which determines which one you use.

Formative assessment is frequently referred to as ‘assessment for learning’, it includes all the activities that the teacher and student does, which can give feedback to be used to adapt the teaching and learning activities.  It is important to remember that assessment only becomes formative when the information gathered about a pupil is used to adapt teaching and learning to meet the individual pupils needs.

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Last modified: 08/12/04