Assessment Essay Example

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Assessment refers to the procedure of recording and documenting knowledge, attitudes and beliefs. Assessment is employed in majority of fields including finance, education, psychology, health and many more fields. Assessment aims at revealing certain aspects in each of the individual fields that its stakeholders feel are pertinent and important to their operations. Educational assessment centers on establishing students who need special care and also establishing achievement rate. Assessment provides correct approximations of student performance and facilitates teachers or other stakeholders to formulate suitable policies and applicable choices.

Assessment ought to be valid. This simply means that the assessment tool ought to measure what it is intended to measure. It would be unwise to measure lobotomy skills through written examinations and tests alone and without incorporating the practical bit of it of operating and a written test. The combination of written exam and the practical test ensures greater validity. For instance some educators have put out often, that quite a number of examinations do not properly measure the syllabus on which the assessment is founded (David, 2006). Reliability is a measure of the consistency of an assessment. If a test can yield the same results repeatedly within the same group of students then it is said to be consistent. Reliability of assessment is hindered by many factors such as unclear questions, innumerable options within a question paper, ambiguous marking guidelines and lack of skills/insufficient skills among the markers. Avoiding these ambiguities ensures the success of the assessment process. Both validity and reliability should accompany each other for effective results. An assessment test can be valid but not reliable and vice versa. As Marge outlines in his article, The Tests That Won’t Go Away, the aims of assessment are edifyingaptitude in rudimentary skills, bridging theaccomplishmentgaps, and nurturing the top-notch knowledge and expertise that are required by students in the ever dynamic society (Stiggins et al, 2006). For these reasons the design and administering of the assessment tests ought to be carefully thought of and planned so that assessment is used to facilitate learning and not the other way round as is observed across the contemporary educational setup.

When determining whether an assessment task is of quality the factors depend on whether the tasks are relevant to the objectives and the learning expectations as outlined by the course objectives- the content of the evaluations ought tocounterpart the educator’s instructive intentions and instructional prominences. The educational anticipations for learners’ performance should be clear. Various influences undermine this, for example when students and teachers are having so much work and are working on deadlines, too much assignment for the students with absolute no time to complete, lack of time for the teachers to mark the assignments and test papers such that even at times the papers are marked late (Marzano, 2003). These issues will eventually water down the assessment goals. The assessment process should be free of external influences which needlessly complicate or unintentionally prompt learners’ reactions.

Testing requires proficiency and knowledge and if the goals of assessment are to be achieved the educators and instructors should consider acquiring more knowledge and skills so as to know when to use the different measures of assessment and which measures to combine and so on. Ainsworth, 2006, proposes a methodical tactic that integrates three mechanisms: feed-up, feed-back, and feed-forward. The three constitute the toughest mediation existing to surge learners’ attainment. Lastly the educators should always focus on the aims of assessment and in any situation they should always realize that assessment should facilitate and improve learning. As Marge notes, ‘If the aim is not just attaining greater marks, but advancing learners’ knowledge and understanding, evaluation must be for learning, not just of learning.’


Ainsworth, L. and Viegut, D. (2006).Common formative assessments. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Claire, W. (2009). Educational assessment in the 21st century: connecting theory and practice. London: Springer.

David, S. (2006). Fundamental aspects of interpreter education: curriculum and assessment. New Jersey: John Benjamin Pub

Marzano, J. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Marge Scherer (2009). The Tests That Won’t Go Away. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from

Stiggins, J., Arter, A., Chappius, J. and Chappius, S. (2006). Classroom assessment for student learning: Doing it right-using it well. Portland, OR: Educational Testing Service.