A diagnostic assessment is used to determine a student’s understanding or level of knowledge or skill at the beginning of a grade level or course. Students can show what they know, and teachers can adjust instruction to meet the needs of students. Essentially, a diagnostic assessment is the same as a pre-assessment, but often encompasses a broader range of topics (for example – a student may do a diagnostic assessment containing a range of math topics from the Grade 5 math curricula at the beginning of Grade 6). Diagnostic assessments are not meant to be graded, but rather are meant to be informative.
When diagnostic assessments are used effectively, the result can be a better experience for both teacher and student. The educator has a better understanding of any knowledge gaps that may exist and how to address them, and students are less apt to be frustrated or bored, as teaching is applicable and not repetitive. Diagnostic assessment can also create a baseline for assessing future learning.
Please refer to any school division examples of diagnostic assessments that are a fit for the Saskatchewan mathematics curricula.
Further reading/Professional resources:
- Math Assessment and Support Tools
- This site is meant to be used as a starting place for schools or divisions when looking for information on what math assessment tools or supports are available. As with all resources, users must check for curricular alignment.