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Formative Assessment: The Current Education Structure

Aug 25, 2016 17:00 IST

    Formative assessment is meant for learning assessment, i.e., it is used to measure how much a student has learned up to a particular period.  Teachers use formative assessments to evaluate a student’s learning progress and check for his understanding. They use formative assessment to improve instructional methods and provide feedback to students so that they can improve their performance. Thus formative assessments are useful in monitoring the students’ progress with periodic quizzes and performance tasks. Formative assessments can be used as an effective way to prepare the students for the final term and achieve successful outcomes.

    For the effectual outcome of the formative assessment following points need to be emphasized on

    • Track the achievement if each student at the individual level

    • Collect information about the learner’s learning and record the same.

    • Check for each student's learning needs and styles and adapt instructions accordingly

    • Offer all students opportunities for improvement

    • Provide feedback that will lead to positive action and help the learner to do better

    Advantages of formative assessment

    Formative assessments represent a revolutionary change in the contemporary educational system. Some of the striking benefits FAs are:

    • They allow the educator to form a more detailed understanding of the student’s abilities

    • They make provision for effective feedback

    • They enable the teachers to make their teaching flexible according to the results of assessment

    • They help the students to assess themselves and understand how to improve

    • They enable the students to understand the criteria that will be used to judge their work

    • They offer  the students an opportunity to improve their work after feedback

    With the conduction of formative assessments the teaching and learning activities can be altered according to the results. They are used to determine learning progress and achievement of the student throughout the session. They serve as a practice for students and help them to correct the conceptual errors before undertaking work on a term paper.

    Disadvantages of formative assessment

    Though the new system of learning has come up with many remarkable advantages still some educators complain about the system stating that:

    • Formative assessment requires to assess the students during the lesson which takes too much time and makes it difficult to finish the chapter in time.

    • Students have to rush through a series of units has due to which they lack mastery once the assessment is given at the end of the unit. 

    When are Formative Assessments conducted and how much they weigh?

    Type of Assessment

    Percentage of weightage in academic session


    Term wise weightage

    First Term

    Formative Assessment-I



    FA-I+FA-II = 20%

    Formative Assessment-II



    Summative Assessment - I



    SA-I = 20%

    Second Term

    Formative Assessment-III



    FA-III+FA-IV = 20%

    Formative Assessment-IV



    Summative Assessment - II



    SA-II = 40%

    Total Formative Assessments = FA-I + FA-II + FA-III + FA-IV = 40%

              Summative Assessment = SA-I + SA2 = 60%

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