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Pre & Post Assessments

In this climate of accountability and addressing individual student needs, some schools have found it particularly helpful to use some pre- and post-assessments. Their initial thinking about pre- and post assessments was of a set of test questions given at the beginning of a Unit and then given again at the end of the Unit, with the only change being the order of the questions or the numerical values in the questions. They felt that an assessment of this type was not very informative and a poor use of class time, which is at such a premium.

Therefore, schools developed other assessments that were intended to be more helpful to both students and teachers. Teachers have found it beneficial to have strategies that demonstrate student growth in understanding. Various formats inform teachers of students’ current conceptions as well as misconceptions, allowing teachers to make more informed decisions about instruction during the Unit.


  • Shapes and Designs Display sets of photographs from nature, art and architecture in the real world. Ask students to describe the shapes and designs that they see. In addition ask students to predict what they will learn in the Unit. At the close of the Unit the open question can be posed again so students can add to their responses about what they know about shapes and designs.
  • Looking for Pythagoras Pre-assessment single question: What do think you know about right triangles?

Post-assessment single question: Now what do you know about right triangles?