Formative Assessments: Examples, Types & Definition

Instructor: Mary Firestone
Find out what formative assessments are and the part they play in the learning process. Learn about the types of formative assessments and review the examples. Read the lesson, then take a quiz to test your new knowledge.


Formative assessments are a part of the instruction process where students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their learning. The assessments are 'formative' because the results don't determine a grade, but they do determine the direction instruction will take. Teachers may change the lesson content or any number of things after a formative assessment to help students successfully complete the unit. Summative assessments, on the other hand, are the type that show how much a student has learned by taking an exam or quiz for a grade.

Types and Examples of Formative Assessments

Formative assessments are a discovery process that may involve direct questioning or reflection on the part of the student. Below are some of the ways you might choose to do a formative assessment:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account