Summative assessment Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summative_assessment

Summative assessment, summative evaluation, or assessment of learning[1] is the assessment of participants where the focus is on the outcome of a program. This contrasts with formative assessment, which summarizes the participants' development at a particular time. Summative assessment is widely taught in educational programs in the United States.[citation needed] Michael Scriven claims that while all assessment techniques can be summative, only some are formative.[2]

The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against a standard or benchmark. Note, 'the end' does not necessarily mean the end of an entire course or module of study. Summative assessments may be distributed throughout a course, after a particular unit (or collection of topics) has been taught, and there are advantages to doing so. In many disciplines in the UK Higher Education sector, there has been a move away from 100% end of course assessments, to a model where summative assessments are distributed across a course, which helps to scaffold students' learning. Summative assessment usually involves students receiving a grade that indicates their level of performance, be it a percentage, pass/fail, or some other form of scale grade. Summative assessments are weighted more than formative assessments. For example-test after 6 months in schools, Semester exams in B. Ed after each 6 months.

Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value. Examples of summative assessments include: a midterm exam, a final project, a paper, or a senior recital.

Instructional design[edit]

Summative assessment is used as an evaluation technique in instructional design. It can provide information on an intervention's efficacy (its ability to do what it was designed to do). Summative evaluation judges the worth, or value, of an intervention at its conclusion.

Summative Assessments are usually given at the end of a unit.

Educator performance[edit]

Summative assessment can be used to refer to assessment of educational faculty by their respective supervisor, with the object of measuring all teachers on the same criteria to determine the level of their performance. In this context summative assessment is meant to meet the school or district's needs for teacher accountability. The evaluation usually takes the shape of a form, and consists of check lists and occasionally narratives. Areas evaluated include classroom climate, instruction, professionalism, and planning and preparation.[3]


Methods of summative assessment aim to summarize overall learning at the completion of the course or unit.

  • Questionnaires
  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Observations
  • Testing (specific test created by the teacher or establishment made to include all points of a unit or specific information taught in a given time frame)
  • Projects (a culminating project that synthesizes knowledge)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ What Is The Difference Between Assessment Of And Assessment For Learning?
  2. ^ R. W. Tyler, R. M. Gagne, & M. Scriven (Eds.) (1967). "The methodology of evaluation". Perspectives of curriculum evaluation. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally. pp. 39–83.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Glickman, C.D., Gordon, S.P., & Ross-Gordon, J.M. (2009).Supervision and instructional leadership: a developmental approach Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA.