Guide to Good Practice in Assessment

The Characteristics of Effective Assessment


The assessment should measure what is intended. For example, to assess practical ability, it should look at how the results were obtained in addition to the results themselves.

Reliable and consistent

Assessment criteria and marking schemes should be robust so that grades are consistent when more than one assessor marks the work or when one assessor marks the work on different occasions.


The assessment should be clearly aimed at meeting the learning objectives for the topic.


All students should have the same opportunity to succeed.

Efficient and manageable

Deadlines for course work should be staggered across modules and not just within one module to make assessment manageable for both students and the tutors. The assessment should be streamlined to ease the burden of marking and giving feedback.

Effective Feedback

Students should always be given advice on their progress and have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.


Table 1: Characteristics of an effective assessment (Perrie, 2003, p.86)