12 essential education types of assessments you must know

The various education types of assessments provide a means to analyze student performance as well as the appropriateness of the...
12 December 2023

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12 essential education types of assessments you must know

The various education types of assessments provide a means to analyze student performance as well as the appropriateness of the chosen methods.

Typically, to gain a comprehensive view of the teaching process, different types and characteristics of assessments are combined. 

This approach helps to check student progress and to contrast the effectiveness of the methodology used.

Additionally, the advent of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the educational environment enhances the objectivity of student supervision.

To assist you in selecting the tools that best match your strategy, this article will list 12 education types of assessments you need to be familiar with.

12 essential education types of assessments you must know

What is an educational assessment?

An educational assessment is a personalized process of monitoring and assessing each student’s progress to ensure they meet the established educational goals and solidify their learning process.

Educational evaluation helps to establish common training levels and ensures that students acquire the knowledge, competencies, and skills necessary for their professional success.

This technique offers benefits to both students and teachers:

  • Teachers can verify the success or need to readjust their methods.
  • Students understand what is expected of them, promoting their motivation and involvement.

12 types of assessments and a bonus

Each assessment is selected based on criteria such as the evaluator, the objective, the degree of formality, the timing, the interpretation of the score, or the level of impact sought.

In the following sections, we will discuss 12 types of assessments that can meet some of the criteria we have just listed and many others according to your educational strategy.

We want to point out that in most cases, several are combined to achieve a holistic evaluation that considers the entire universe of the student, their performance, and the pedagogical dynamics employed.


This first type of assessment, sometimes called pre-assessment, focuses on determining the student’s starting point.

In other words, it seeks to identify the presence or absence of prerequisites such as skills, knowledge, competencies, or attitudes.

It can be a prognosis when evaluating a collective or a diagnosis when   individually.

Also, it can occur only at the beginning of the educational program or at the start of each topic or subject.

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The formative assessment occurs throughout the entire process in a frequent and interactive manner, aiding in improving pedagogical processes and outcomes.

Its essential characteristic is that it must be ongoing, allowing for evaluating the student’s evolution throughout the program and encouraging them to take an active stance in their performance.

This type of educational assessment can be carried out through periodic tasks, educational journals, or debates and forums.


Summative assessment is based on a set of tests throughout the course and a final one that scores the outcome of learning concerning a student.

It is useful for making decisions regarding students’ achievements at the end of a curricular unit.

These can translate into assignments or exams throughout and at the end of the academic period, allowing for the application of all the knowledge of the training period.


Ipsative assessment compares the student’s results with their previous outcomes.

Here, less rigid than norm-referenced tests, it helps to evaluate strengths and weaknesses individually.

It is often used in forced-choice tests where the student must choose the most truthful option even among proposals that are false, for example.


Confirmative assessment determines if a training process is effective over time, to some extent, it is an extension of summative assessment.


This type of educational assessment examines student performance concerning a specific goal or standardized criteria.


The competencies assessed by this type of test can be of 2 types:

  1. Key. Necessary for the student to advance in the educational path established by an educational system.
  2. Specific. Competencies required to meet the challenges of each area or subject concerning evaluative criteria.


Here, these are empirically proven effective and relevant tests that ensure a high degree of objectivity.

Norm-referenced evaluation establishes average grades for an educational center or the educational community of a country for the same subject or curricular content.

Each assessment is selected based on criteria


These tests focus on evaluating a student concerning predetermined criteria or educational standards.

It seeks to verify that the student is acquiring the necessary capabilities at each stage of their education and thus evaluate the body of knowledge transmitted and the skills acquired.


In this case, being a group evaluation, precision is not sought but rather to analyze the average performance of a group of students.

This process allows for general conclusions that affect most students, facilitating the refinement of the dynamics used.


Informal evaluation, to some extent, opposes norm-referenced, as it uses more flexible and alternative means.

It can be used to discover the interests and motivations of the students through mere observation but also through individual interviews or dynamics based on gamification in the classroom.

Thanks to the introduction of play, the student adopts an active attitude in their own learning.


Self-assessment allows the student to become aware of their abilities, capacities, and strengths, as well as identify weaknesses that need to be reinforced for successful completion of the educational program.

This awareness reinforces commitment to learning, improving their results.

Online Evaluation

Bonus: online assessment

More than a type of assessment, it is a means to adapt all those detailed throughout this article and allows deploying all kinds of evaluations easily.

Another great advantage is that using technology to assess students avoids subjectivities, favoring your reputation as an assessment center.

At Smowltech, we are very aware of the possibilities brought about by the emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the educational environment, and the challenges it poses.

For this reason, we have become one of the benchmarks in proctoring or remote supervision systems.

Thanks to our proctoring plans, you can build safe environments for your students where their digital privacy is respected.

Request a free demo to discover the effectiveness of our solutions for yourself.

Download now!

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