Summative Assessment

Summative Assessments measure what students have learned.

  • They typically come at the end of the course
  • They assess students' proficiency in course objectives

Final Exams are typical examples of summative assessments.  In the table below, the Final Exam assesses all Course Objectives, and a student’s performance on the Final Exam corresponds to their achievement of the course objectives.

Summative Assessment Type  Course Objectives Assessed 
Final Exam A,B,C,D,E,F


Can you have more than one summative assessment?

  • In some cases, different summative assessments can be given throughout the term.
  • If an instructor divides their course into sections, each section might conclude with a summative assessment.
  • Keep in mind that summative assessments are meant to be a final evaluation of a student’s knowledge.
  • The same course objective should not appear on two summative assessments.

In the table, the Mid-Term Exam assesses half of the Course Objectives, while the Final Exam assesses the other half. The objectives assessed by the Final Exam might build on those assessed in the Mid-Term Exam, but they are considered separate objectives.

Summative Assessment  Course Objectives Assessed 
Mid-Term Exam A,B,C
Final Exam D,E,F