Summative Assessment

Effective proficiency-based summative assessments provide students with an opportunity to clearly demonstrate and provide evidence of their learning against clear expectations, defined by scoring criteria. Strong summative assessments provide opportunities for authentic demonstration that indicate a student’s ability to transfer their skills and knowledge to novel situations, beyond the specific assessment task provided. Note that the full range of summative assessments, including traditional tests, can be designed in order to provide evidence of student learning and levels of student proficiency.


These tools are intended for educators to use as they design, critique, and refine summative assessments aligned to a proficiency-based learning system.

Design Protocol - Summative Assessment

This protocol can be used to help educators design proficiency-based summative assessments aligned with performance indicators.

Design Guide - Summative Assessment

This design guide provides criteria that can be used as assessments are created or to critique and improve existing assessments

Tuning Protocol - Summative Assessment

This protocol is designed to engage a team in refining proficiency-based summative assessments against the key traits of alignment, accessibility, transfer, rigor, and scoring.

Planning Template

This planning template can be used as a workspace to draft summative assessments, in coordination with the Summative Assessment Design Guide and Summative Assessment Design Protocol.


These tools are intended for educators to use as they design, critique, and refine the scoring criteria used to evaluate student performance within a proficiency-based learning system.

Scoring Criteria Overview

This tool details the traits of effective scoring criteria and provides examples.

Frequently Asked Questions

This tool can help clarify misunderstandings and address common challenges surrounding task-neutral, common scoring criteria as described in Scoring Criteria Overview.

Design Protocol - Scoring Criteria

This protocol is designed to support educators in drafting descriptions of levels of proficiency for each performance indicator.

Design Guide - Scoring Criteria

This design guide can be used as educators create or revise scoring criteria. Scoring criteria describe the evidence that demonstrates performance at each achievement level for a performance indicator.

Tuning Protocol - Scoring Criteria

This protocol helps you refine scoring criteria; this ensures the criteria illustrate increasingly complex cognitive demand, are task-neutral, focus on the quality of student work, and emphasize student assets.

Evidence and Readings

This resource containts quotations and citations from a synthesis of literature related to clear learning goals, standard-based grading, and effective feedback.

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