What is Assessment? How is it useful in the school education system?

What is Assessment

What is Assessment: In this article, we will discuss the very important question for B.Ed second year What is Assessment? How is it useful in the school education system?

At the end of this article, you will develop an idea about What is Assessment? and How is it useful in the school education system? This question is asked in different ways, let’s have a look at how this question can be modified-


  • The term assessment is the vast diversification or variety of tools that educators/teachers use to evaluate, measure the learning progress and skill acquisition of students.
  • In simple words, it is the process of testing the knowledge, skill, attitudes, and beliefs acquired by the students.

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Definitions Of Assessment

According to Palomba and Banta, “It is a systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development.”

Huba and Freed (2000), “It is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences.”

According to Allen (2004) “Assessment involves the use of empirical data on student learning to refine programs and improve student learning.

Erwin has also said about it (in 1991) that, “Assessment is the systematic basis for making inferences about the learning and development of students. It is the process of defining, selecting, designing, collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and using the information to increase students’ learning and development.”

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Importance of Assessment 

The process of learning totally depends on effective teaching and the quality of the evaluation/testing system. Generally, the system of evaluation needs to be blend with the process of teaching and learning.

Evaluations should also reflect the child’s personality holistically in a valid manner. Additionally, it should provide continuous feedback regarding the significance or worth of the course content, the efficacy of classrooms.

In short, the breadth and depth of the learning process are measured by assessment only.

We should assess students in the following manner:

1. To Diagnose Faults and Enable Students to Rectify Mistakes:

Students should know what they are learning and how much they have benefitted from the process of learning. Similarly, teachers should also know about the improvements in the students.

As a result, effective assessment lets students know where their problems lie and what their weak areas are; and provides them with an essential tool to put things right.

2. To Classify/Grade Students:

Knowledge is the best way to grade students. Therefore, the assessment methods are important to achieve this. These will normally be summative and involve numerical marks or grades for students.

3. To Guide Improvement:

In the evaluation method, students receive feedback for the efforts they make. Hence the feedback helps students to improve. The more detailed the feedback is, the greater are the chances that students will try to further develop themselves.

Assessment methods enable students’ progress therefore they are needed to be given a clear idea of their current levels of achievement so that they can know their progress.

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4. To Motivate Students:

Students these days are under so much pressure, so they tend to become more and more strategic in their approaches to learning.

Thus, assessment methods are designed to maximize student motivation and prompt their efforts towards important achievements.

5. To Facilitate Student’s Choice of Option:

Students try to opt for the courses on the basis of their performances. If they have to select between streams, an understanding of how well they have done in foundation studies will enable them to have a clear idea about the courses they should go for.

Thus, it will provide them with guidance on which options they should go for.

6. To provide statistics for the course or for the institution.

7. To give us Feedback on how Our Teaching is Going:

Teaching at many places in India is not up to the mark. Students want to learn more, acquire knowledge but there is a lack of teachers and facilities.

On the other hand, an excellent achievement by students is due to the high-quality facilitation of student learning.

Types of Assessment

1. Formative Assessment:

It tends to identify errors, difficulties, or shortcomings in the pupils’ work and to offer advice, guidance, and information to improve future performance.

2. Summative Assessment:

These kinds of evaluations are scheduled for the end of a period of instruction. e.g. and of term, end of course, etc.

3. Norm-referenced Assessment:

In this, the grading of each pupils’ performance is related to the performance of others. Eg. Grade system.

4. Criterion-referenced Assessment:

In this, the grading of each pupil’s performance is judged in terms of whether a particular criterion has been met or not.

It means that all pupils who meet this criterion would be assessed as achieving the related grade, regardless of how other pupils performed.

Graded tests used in music, modern languages, and mathematics, etc. are some of its examples.

5. Informal Assessment:

It is based on normal classroom practice.

6. Formal Assessment:

This is used to identify particular needs (e.g. dyslexia), and related to the statement of special educational needs. This is taken following prior warning that an evaluation will be carried out.

This normally allows the pupil to revise and prepare for the assessment.

6. Diagnostic Assessment:

This is used to identify particular needs (e.g. dyslexia), and related to the statement of special educational needs.

7. Internal Assessment:

It consists of activities that are devised, carried out and marked by the class teacher, and often used as part of their own program of teaching.

8. External Assessment:

Assessment activities devised by examiners outside the school, and usually also marked by external assessors.

9. Continuous Assessment:

This is taken over a long period of time.

10. Terminal Assessment:

This is done solely at the end of the course or program of work.

11. Objective Assessment:

An example of this is the use of multiple~ choice tests.

12. Subjective Assessment:

In this, testing activities are based on a subjective and impressionistic judgment of a piece of work. An example of this would be judging a painting, a vignette of acting, or a piece of creative writing.

13. Process Assessment:

This is the test of an ongoing activity, such as reading aloud a poem or designing and conducting an experiment, in Which the assessment is based on direct observation of the performance while in progress.

14. Product Assessment:

This is based on a tangible piece of work, such as an essay, project, model, or examination script, submitted for the purpose of testing.

15. Comprehensive and Continuous Assessment:

Comprehensive refers to both the scholastic and non-scholastic areas of a pupil’s growth. In short, this assessment covers aspects like physical, intellectual, emotional, and social growth.

It is a process to find out the extent to which the desired changes have taken place in the pupils. Lastly, it refers to regularity in the assessment.

Methods of Assessment

  • Laboratory work
  • Practical work
  • Assessing Performances (Exam questions)
  • Poster displays and exhibitions.
  • Students in seminars
  • Multiple choice questions and responses Work-based learning
  • Action research etc.


Assessment is a very important part of the teaching and learning process. Hence, it is done to diagnose the faults of the students, to guide them, and motivate them, etc.

Evaluation/assessment should be done timely to check the understanding and the knowledge of the pupils from time to time. Evaluation of the pupils can be done with the help of different types of assessments.

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