Sunday 12 August 2018


i. Formal assessment is a preplanned, systematic, and deliberate measure to determine and ascer tain the current level of proficiency of the learner. It is done in the form of tests. On the basis of formal assessment, a teacher can assess oneself as well, and modify one’s teaching accordingly. Formal assessments are done in accordance with a select set of methodologies and objectives. Thus, it is very well structured, and a system in itself. It also give the students time to prepare themselves for tests.

However, formal assessments may not be as effective as they could be if they are not planned/conducted properly. First, each and every learner has his/her own set of skills. And, some are just better than others. If formative assessment is done in such a way, that the test does not give the students ample opportunities to perform the best they can, it can discourage them.
In addition, it is often seen that in formal assessments, all the four communication skills are not always tested.

ii. Informal assessment is based on teacher’s observations during the class. By observing how students behave and respond, teachers become aware of certain things that they might act upon later on. For example, there might be a few students who feel uncomfortable whenever a text deals with race and religion. If it comes to the notice of the teacher through informal assessment, one would definitely try to modify one’s way of explaining things in order to make those students comfortable.
However, since informal assessment relies upon the teacher’s perspectives and one’s innate understanding of human psychology, one may assess poorly, and consequently, make a wrong assumption.

iii. Formative assessment records the on-going development of the learners in order to estimate not only the current level of proficiency of the learners, but also to predict what to expect from them after completion of the course. At any point of time, a teacher can provide the assessment data on any student. At the same time, since learners keep facing challenges in the form of formative evaluation, they get ample opportunities to prepare themselves for their finals.

However, formative assessments can be very stressful for the learners. Many students often report that in their schools, teachers teach less, and take class-tests more. Secondly, formative assessments are extremely time-consuming.    

iv. Summative assessments are those assessments which are done at the end of a course. They help us understand whether the course objectives are fulfilled or not. In a way, summative assessments certify a learner eligible to face the challenges of the next level.  

However, these assessments remain unsuccessful in assessing whether all the necessary skills are attained or not. At times, summative tests are given so much importance in the society that even if one becomes a victim of faulty assessment one remains ineligible to get several opportunities in the job sector.

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