To be effective, quality summative assessment should:
- take account of all the objectives or outcomes of the study programme (this is why summative tests from part of the study programme are not necessarily valid);
- be used to indicate a pupil’s progress at the end of a period of learning, for example a unit of work or a module;
- take account of formative assessments throughout the year; and
- be formative in its own right, giving:
- teachers insights into what pupils have and have not learned, enabling them to adapt their practices; and
- feedback on what pupils did or did not do well.
Research suggests that teachers should make greater use of summative assessment to support learning by:
- giving pupils opportunities to review their work before the assessment to:
- familiarise themselves with the type of assessment set; and
- identify areas where understanding is not secure;
- involving pupils in developing assessments and setting assessment criteria to:
- help develop their understanding of assessment; and
- focus on areas for improvement;
- involving pupils in marking and discussing their assessment performance, including the use of peer and self-evaluation; and
- providing quality feedback that focuses on the pupil’s performance and how they can improve their learning.