Sample-based assessments

Are run internationally, regionally, nationally and even sub-nationally. In this case the assessment is only administered to a portion of the student population (for instance, a nationally-representative portion of students) instead of the entire student population. This not only allows it to be more cost-effective, but also avoids the ‘teach to the test’ issue. Their main goal is to produce evidence-based information which will help decision-makers identify where learning is not taking place and allow them to take action.

Looney, J. W. 2011. Integrating formative and summative assessment: Progress toward a seamless system? OECD Education Working Papers, No. 58. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from:

Muskin, J.A. 2017. Continuous Assessment for Improved Teaching and Learning: A Critical Review to Inform Policy and Practice. Geneva: IBE Unesco International Bureau of Education. Retrieved from:

Ramírez, M.J. 2018. Quick Guide No. 2 Making the Case for a Learning Assessment. Montreal: UIS-UNESCO (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). Retrieved from: