Types of assessment and test

CONNECT

To recognise some different types of assessment and test that are used in language teaching

Approx. 45 minutes

Different types of assessments and tests

There are many different ways we can assess and test our students. You will probably have experienced and used various different methods during your time as a student and teacher.

Choice of assessment or test is driven by a range of factors including what our purpose is for conducting the assessment, what we want to assess, when we want to assess it, and how we intend to mark and grade it.

TASK: In your notebook, write a list of as many different types of assessment and test as you can think of. We’ve given you a couple to get you going.

Assessment: Self-assessment

Test: Diagnostic test

We have put together a list of what we feel are the most commonly used forms of assessment and test in English Language Teaching. Don’t worry if you had things on your list in the previous task that we haven’t included here. We’ve selected what we felt were the most commonly used categories of assessment and test in language assessment rather than more specific examples. 

Our list

Assessment Test
  • Classroom assessment
  • Continuous assessment
  • Formal assessment 
  • Formative assessment 
  • Informal assessment 
  • Multiple-measures / mixed assessment
  • Peer assessment 
  • Portfolio assessment 
  • Self-assessment 
  • Summative assessment 
  • Criterion-referenced test  
  • Discrete test 
  • Direct test 
  • Diagnostic test
  • Norm-referenced test 
  • Performance test
  • Placement test
    Pop quiz
  • Progress test

Types of assessment

How many of the types of assessment and test in our lists were you familiar with? Let’s have a look at what they all mean. We’ll start with the types of assessment.

TASK: See if you can match the type of assessment to the description.

NB: These types of assessment are not mutually exclusive. As we will see they can be combined together. For example, a portfolio assessment could be a form of continuous assessment that is peer assessed.

Types of test

TASK: As we just did for the types of assessment, see if you can match the types of test to the descriptions.

NB: Again, these types of test are not mutually exclusive. As we will see they can be combined together. For example, a pop quiz could be norm referenced and used as a progress test.

Reflect

Which of these types of assessment and test are you familiar with?
Which have you experienced as a learner? Which do you use as a teacher? Which are most important in your context?