Low Stakes Assessments: TES Maths Resource of the Week

To see all of the work I do for TES Maths, including Resource of the Week, Inspect the Spec, Maths Newsletters and Topic Collections, please visit the TES Maths Blog here

What is it?
One of my current obsessions is the importance of low stakes assessments. There is little doubt that one of the best ways to test how much students understand about a topic is… well, to give them a test! But, the vast majority of students do not like being tested, and us teachers simply do not have the time to mark each of these tests. This is where quick-fire low-stakes assessments come into play. Give them to students at the end of a topic, they complete them in class, mark them themselves, reflect on what areas they need to work on, and everybody benefits. And this collection is a perfect way to get started. 18 number and algebra topics for GCSE are included, each with their very own lovely, ten minute assessment, covering all the key skills for that particular topic.

How can it be used?
I see these being used in two, complementary ways. Firstly, it seems sensible to use them immediately at the end of a topic. This will give you and – more importantly – the students themselves an idea of what they know and what they do not know. But then, I would be tempted to issue the same assessment around 3 weeks later. This will then allow you both to see how much has really stuck, and how deep the level of understanding is. As soon as tests like these become part of your regular routine, and students realise that the inherent usefulness of them, the stress and time-consuming costs of doing and marking tests disappear, and only the benefits remain.

Thanks so much for sharing
Craig Barton

Download: Low Stakes Assessments
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