How often are students being assessed, and for what purposes?

Publication Details

This paper describes how often students are being assessed, for what purposes, and how assessment relates to academic and non-academic outcomes.

Author(s): Emma Medina [Evidence, Data and Knowledge: Ministry of Education]

Date Published: August 2019


International comparisons give insight into New Zealand’s relative strengths and weaknesses in assessment. These findings will be of interest to education professionals as well as providers of Initial Teacher Education and Professional Learning and Development.

Key Findings

  • Teachers feel confident in their ability to assess student comprehension relative to international averages, with the exception of Year 5 science teachers, where a much lower proportion reported ‘high’ or ‘very high’ confidence.
  • Year 5 and Year 9 New Zealand students sit assessments less frequently than the international average and many teachers place more emphasis on student work to monitor student learning.
  • For 15-year-old students, teacher-made tests are mostly used for the purposes of ‘assessment for learning’ as well as to inform parents about their child’s progress, while standardised tests are most used for ‘assessment of learning’.
  • The frequency and type of assessment are unrelated to both test-related anxiety and academic performance. On an international level, what the assessments are used for does relate to performance.

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