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Selecting an assessment tool

Good formal assessment is valid (based on what students have learned) and reliable (results can be replicated), and should provide information on what students have learned, what they need to learn and, where appropriate, how they measure up against expectations for their cohort.

It is the responsibility of teachers and schools to choose formal assessment tools that will provide the most valid and reliable information on student learning.

There are a number of questions that schools and teachers will want to ask when selecting an assessment tool for their purposes. These include:

  • Is the tool of NZ origin?
  • Is it standardised?
  • What is the purpose of the assessment tool?
  • How should it be administered?

For detailed information on what to look for when seeking an appropriate assessment tool go to Criteria for choosing an assessment tool in the Assessment Tool Selector section of this site.

To learn more about how to select a tool using the Tool Selector found within this site, view the video tutorial below.

Related concepts

Reliability and validity

The reliability of an assessment tool is the extent to which it measures learning consistently. The validity of an assessment tool is the extent by which it measures what it was designed to measure.