Summative Assessments: Examples & Types Video

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  • 0:01 Summative Assessments Defined
  • 0:16 The Purpose
  • 1:40 Formative Assessments
  • 2:30 The Stakes
  • 3:14 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Vidhi Desai
Think of state exams, midterms, finals, graded papers, and standardized tests such as the SAT. They all have one thing in common - they are summative assessments! Find out more in this lesson.


Summative Assessments Defined

Summative assessments are used to evaluate learning. They are generally associated with grades, points, or percentages. Examples are exams, graded projects, and papers. Standardized tests such as the SAT are also considered summative assessments.

The Purpose

Summative assessments, such as exams, are used to evaluate learning as well as serve as comparisons for standards, like class averages. They are used to determine what the students know and what they do not know. They can help determine the effectiveness of teaching. Scores can be indicative of the quality of the curriculum as well as appropriate placement of students. For example, when students perform well in an English class, they are given the option to select the honors or advanced placement sections of English for the following cycle.

However, summative assessments are used incrementally, and therefore, do not have immediate influence on instructional quality. For example, if your math teacher, Ms. B., gives an exam on algebra at the end of May after spending the entire month teaching algebra, she will know how you perform after she grades those exams. Once she begins teaching geometry in June, it would be difficult to revisit algebraic concepts that were misunderstood in May. She can only implement the changes when she teaches algebra the next time around.

These assessments are also used to form rankings of schools. If one school's students outperform another school's students on state or regional exams, that school is ranked as a better school for academics.

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