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Examination vs. Assessment: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 28, 2023
Examination is a formal test of knowledge or proficiency, while Assessment is a broader process of evaluating progress, understanding, or ability, often through various methods.
Examination vs. Assessment

Key Differences

An Examination typically refers to a structured, formal test or quiz, often used in educational contexts to measure students' knowledge or skill proficiency in a specific area. It usually has a set format and time limit, with clearly defined questions or tasks. In contrast, an Assessment is a more comprehensive evaluation process, which can include a variety of methods like observations, discussions, and practical tasks, in addition to tests, to gauge a person's abilities, progress, or needs.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
Examinations are often standardized, meaning they are the same for all test-takers, and are used to provide a measurable, objective evaluation of a student's performance. They are typically scored against a set criteria or benchmark. Assessments, however, can be more flexible and varied, and may include both quantitative and qualitative methods to provide a holistic understanding of a person's abilities or progress.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
In many educational systems, Examinations are used as a primary tool for grading and certification, determining a student's qualification or advancement to the next level. Assessment is used not only for grading but also for identifying learning needs, strengths, and areas for improvement, often guiding future teaching and learning strategies.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
The term Examination often implies a formal, high-stakes testing environment, which can be a source of stress for students. This format is commonly used in academic, professional certification, and licensure contexts. Assessment, on the other hand, can be more continuous and integrated into the learning process, such as formative assessments in classrooms that help teachers and students monitor learning progress.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
Examinations are typically conducted at specific points in a course or program, like midterms or finals, and are often used to compare student performance against a standard or with each other. Assessments can be ongoing and are frequently used to provide feedback that supports learning and development, focusing on individual growth rather than comparison with others.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Formal test or quiz
Broad evaluation process
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Dec 28, 2023

Purpose

Measure knowledge or skill proficiency
Evaluate abilities, progress, or needs
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Dec 28, 2023

Method

Structured, often standardized format
Variety of methods including tests, observations
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Use in Education

Primary tool for grading and certification
Identifying learning needs, guiding teaching strategies
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Nature

Often high-stakes and time-bound
Continuous, integrated into the learning process
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Examination and Assessment Definitions

Examination

A tool for academic or professional qualification.
The bar examination is a prerequisite for practicing law.
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Dec 28, 2023

Assessment

Can include various methods like projects, observations.
Her assessment included a portfolio review and a presentation.
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Examination

Conducted at specific intervals, like end of term.
Midterm examinations assess students' progress halfway through the course.
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Dec 28, 2023

Assessment

A process for evaluating educational progress or understanding.
Continuous assessment helps in monitoring student growth.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Examination

Typically structured and standardized.
The final examination consisted of multiple-choice questions.
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Assessment

Used for both grading and identifying learning needs.
The teacher's assessment of the class included both tests and class participation.
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Dec 28, 2023

Examination

A formal test of a student's knowledge or skills.
She studied hard for her mathematics examination.
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Dec 28, 2023

Assessment

More flexible and can be qualitative.
The assessment of her thesis involved both written feedback and a discussion.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Examination

The act of examining or the state of being examined
The examination of the evidence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

The act of assessing; appraisal.
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

A set of questions or exercises testing knowledge or skill.
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Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

An amount assessed, as for taxation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

A formal interrogation
Examination of the witness.
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Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

The act of assessing or an amount (of tax, levy or duty etc) assessed.
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

The act of examining.
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Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

An appraisal or evaluation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

Particularly, an inspection by a medical professional to establish the extent and nature of any sickness or injury.
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Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

The act of assessing; the act of determining an amount to be paid; as, an assessment of damages, or of taxes; an assessment of the members of a club.
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

(education) A formal test involving answering written or oral questions under a time constraint and usually without access to textbooks; typically, a large, written test administered to high school and college students covering course material studied in a semester.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

A valuation of property or profits of business, for the purpose of taxation; such valuation and an adjudging of the proper sum to be levied on the property; as, an assessment of property or an assessment on property.
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

Interrogation, particularly by a lawyer in court or during discovery.
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Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

The specific sum levied or assessed.
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

The act of examining, or state of being examined; a careful search, investigation, or inquiry; scrutiny by study or experiment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

An apportionment of a subscription for stock into successive installments; also, one of these installments (in England termed a "call").
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Examination

A process prescribed or assigned for testing qualification; as, the examination of a student, or of a candidate for admission to the bar or the ministry.
He neglected the studies, . . . stood low at the examinations.
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Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

The classification of someone or something with respect to its worth
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

The act of examining something closely (as for mistakes)
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Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

An amount determined as payable;
The assessment for repairs outraged the club's membership
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

A set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge;
When the test was stolen the professor had to make a new set of questions
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Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

The market value set on assets
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

Formal systematic questioning
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Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

The act of judging or assessing a person or situation or event;
They criticized my judgment of the contestants
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Oct 19, 2023

Examination

Examination of conscience (as done daily by Jesuits)
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Assessment

Focuses on individual progress and development.
His language skills improved significantly according to the latest assessment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Examination

The act of giving students or candidates a test (as by questions) to determine what they know or have learned
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Examination

Often high-stakes with direct impact on grades.
His performance in the examination determined his scholarship eligibility.
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Dec 28, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is the main purpose of an examination?

To formally test knowledge or skills in a specific area.
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Dec 28, 2023

Are examinations always written tests?

Mostly, but they can also include oral or practical components.
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Dec 28, 2023

How is assessment different in purpose?

It evaluates broader aspects like progress and understanding.
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Dec 28, 2023

What are the different types of examinations?

Examinations can include multiple-choice, essay, practical, oral, and standardized tests, among others.
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Dec 28, 2023

Can examinations be retaken if failed?

Depending on the context, individuals may have the opportunity to retake failed examinations.
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Dec 28, 2023

Can assessments be informal?

Yes, assessments can be both formal and informal.
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Dec 28, 2023

Are examinations timed?

Many examinations have time limits to complete the questions or tasks.
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Dec 28, 2023

How do people prepare for examinations?

People often study and review course materials to prepare for examinations.
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Dec 28, 2023

Are examinations stressful?

Examinations can be stressful for many people due to the pressure to perform well.
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Dec 28, 2023

Are assessments always formal?

Assessments can be formal or informal, depending on the situation and the goals of the evaluation.
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Dec 28, 2023

What are the different types of assessments in education?

Educational assessments can include formative assessments, summative assessments, diagnostic assessments, and performance assessments, among others.
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Dec 28, 2023

Do examinations always involve grades or scores?

Examinations typically result in grades or scores that reflect the performance of the individual being tested.
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Dec 28, 2023

Can self-assessment be useful?

Yes, self-assessment allows individuals to evaluate their own performance, progress, or skills.
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Dec 28, 2023

How is assessment used in healthcare?

In healthcare, assessment involves the evaluation of a patient's condition, symptoms, and overall health to make informed medical decisions.
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Dec 28, 2023

Can assessments be used in workplaces?

Yes, assessments are commonly used in workplaces to evaluate employee performance, skills, and competencies.
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Dec 28, 2023

Are assessments always based on numerical scores?

No, assessments can be qualitative and may involve descriptive feedback or qualitative evaluations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

What's the purpose of assessment in education?

In education, assessment helps measure a student's progress, understanding, and overall learning.
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Dec 28, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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