That time of the year is by the corner when learners are bound to be assessed in the form of summative assessments. These are very crucial considering the weight they carry. Summative assessment can be loosely defined as a milestone in a learning process which seeks to ascertain whether the learner is “competent” or “not yet competent”. Learners are assessed on the subject content they have covered or are assumed to have been covered. It is not a screening tool to fail learners as some might think but a performance measurement tool although it indirectly screens learners as those who are found to be “not yet competent” are given an option to attempt a supplementary assessment provided they meet the minimum requirements for such an assessment. If they are “not yet competent” for the second attempt, they might be deferred meaning that they are expected to re-do the module [let us not consider this as an option as there are many consequences as a result of repeating]. However, this differs among various academic institutions that put in place the standards to be observed.

Summative assessment is conducted in various forms such as ‘end of year exams or national examinations’, ‘submission of portfolio of evidence’, and ‘project presentations’ among the common methods. They have to be carried out under specific minimum guidelines for credibility purposes hence learners should be aware of this as penalties which might be negative would be among the options for assessors, moderators and examiners. Therefore, familiarising with the rules and regulations put in place during such assessments is essential.

I have decided to share some few points on how learners can maximize their performance in summative assessments as presented below:

– Learners should know their progress mark and calculate what mark they need to score in the exam to get the desired mark such as a pass mark (50%) or a distinction (75%)

– Learners should also know all the topics which are part of the module guide and are to be asked in the exam (scope)

– Learners should identify their weak points and strong points in those topics identified

– Learners should find ways of improving their performance (by reading relevant material) where they need further understanding and seek assistance from classmates etc

– Learners should continuously review their performance before the exam to assess their preparedness for the exam/s

– Learners should identify any possible exam questions and fully understand them though revision

– Learners need to be aware of the marking style of every particular assessor/examiner (assessor and examiners specify how students should answer questions – this might not always be the case especially when national exams are prepared for however, making use of a standardized model answers would help at times)

– Learners should know the duration for every exam and spend appropriate time for every question in the exam

– Learners should maximise their speed and begin with questions which they understand better

– Learners should keep in mind that exams are only to determine whether they are competent or not competent. It is not a punishment in anyhow

– Learners should understand that assessments are a form of performance measurement tool.

Best wishes in your exams!!!!!


About Lucky Sibanda

He is a holder of Diploma in Entrepreneurship (cum laude) and a Bachelor of Technology in Business Administration at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2014 June - cum laude) (Cape Town, South Africa, in Africa). He has varied basic experience stretching from engineering, office work, retail and to the provision of tuition gained from the period of 2005 up to date. He is a qualified and registered Assessor (Services SETA) with a scope of 10 qualification (up to NQF Level 4).

Posted on 30/10/2013, in Education, Motivation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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