How well did a student do in this class? Did they learn this unit’s material? When people talk about classic tests or finals, a summative assessment is normally the type of assessment they are referring to.

What are they?  

In this category of assessments, you’ll find the “Big Kahuna” of tests, such as the finals that we pull all-nighters for as well as the tests that get you into college or let you drive on the roads.  Summative assessments document how much information was retained at the end of a designated period of learning (e.g. unit, semester, or school year).

Components of Summative Assessments:

  • Evaluate learning/understanding at the end of a checkpoint
  • Normally help to determine students’ grade
  • Used for accountability of schools, students, and teachers
  • Usually higher stakes than other assessment forms
  • Preparation and review is helpful for best performance
In a summative assessment, success is measured at the end of a checkpoint.

Summative Assessment Examples  

At the end of a semester or a school year, summative tests are used to see how much the student actually learned. It can be the midterm,  final grade, or standardized tests. The best summative assessments require a higher level of thinking that synthesizes several important concepts together.

Check out these posts from Twitter where Mrs. Yonts shows her class working on a summative biology assessment and classes at J.T. Nichols Middle School are preparing for the MCAS, a state-wide summative assessment.

Keep In Mind   

In the traditional sense of the term, summative assessments are what we think of as the big end-of-the-year bubble-sheet or pen-and-paper finals. In the modern-day tech-enhanced classroom summative assessments are increasingly delivered online. Summative assessments can even take the shape of multi-media presentations, group projects, creative writing, plays or other hands-on projects that demonstrate a mastery of the material.
In summative assessments, the scores tend to have a significant effect on the student’s final grade or whatever is designated as the measurement of success.

Summative Assessment Tools

Teachers use Edulastic’s multimedia function to create summative assessments that use video as a prompt.  The multimedia can engage students with audio and visual items and then requires the students to summarize their learning in a classic essay.  The result is a traditional, “classic” exam with sophisticated multi-media components.

With Edulastic’s standards-tied questions, teachers who give summative assessments can immediately identify if students mastered the concepts they needed to know.

Get Inspired!

Here’s some examples of free summative assessments you can access in the Edulastic library. If they apply to your class, feel free to use them. If not, search for others in the Assessment Library or use them as a starting point to create your own.

PARCC Grade 7 Math EOY – Preview / Access

ELA 8th Grade Benchmark AssessmentPreview / Access

Ohio’s State Tests Spring 2016 HS American HistoryPreview / Access

Ecosystems Interactions Unit Test – Preview / Access

Already thinking ahead to what assessments you’ll end the year with? Aside from browsing the Assessment Library, you can also take a look through some End of Year Assessments here. 

Learn About Other Types of Assessment

Summative assessments have their place in the classroom, and so do other assessment types. Check out our other posts on diagnostic assessments,  formative assessments, or different types of assessment

Diagnostic Assessment

Diagnostic assessments happenat the start to gauge pre-knowledge.

Formative Assessment

Formative assessments are used in the middle of a lesson or year to determine how students are progressing.

Benchmark Assessment

Benchmark assessments are used to measure the academic progress of large groups of students.

Interim Assessment

Interim assessments are given across an entire school or district in order to compare results of groups of students.

Ready to put an assessment into practice? You can sign up for a free Edulastic account and create or discover your own online assessment, all in one place!