School Testing: 4 Different Types of School Tests & What They Mean for Your Child by Pepi Silverman
A large part of the experiences of being in school involves testing. In order for testing to be meaningful, it must be relevant and it must “inform” instruction. Teachers should use testing to tailor their instruction to meet the needs of their students. Knowing the types of tests administered helps parents to understand the purposes of those assessments:
- Diagnostic testing: This testing is used to “diagnose” what a student knows and does not know. The test covers topics students will be taught in the upcoming lessons.
- Formative Testing: This type of testing is used to gauge student learning during the lesson. If you help your children with their homework, you are likely using a version of formative testing as you work together.
- Benchmark Testing: This testing is used to check whether students have mastered the content. Benchmark testing is given during or after a classroom focuses on a section of material. The assessments are designed to let teachers know whether students have understood the material that’s been covered.
- Summative Testing: This testing is used as a checkpoint at the end of the year or course to assess how much content students learned overall.
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