Diagnostic Assessment


Undertaken before learning begins, Diagnostic Assessments are an opportunity to gather information on learners' current skills, knowledge, and capacities.


  • Meaningful Assessment

Tips for a Short Implementation Time-Line 

"On a short timeline, think seriously about using existing intake diagnostics to assess lexile levels,gaps in math skills. You will also want to create an intake survey to assess comfort and expertise in using technology.

Within the classroom, there is often great value in beginning with using an existing platform that is organized around embedded diagnostic assessments for each unit of study, such as Khan Academy or Edgenuity. Note that these will likely emphasize content knowledge over application of skills.

Try to also include diagnostic assessments of skills/competencies by selecting a few focus competencies for school-wide evaluations that can serve as benchmarks throughout the year.

If and when you do create your own diagnostics, set up a school-wide infrastructure for storing and sharing assessment banks so that this work will not have to be duplicated in the future."

Curated Resources: This collection of resources from the field includes models and exemplars, as well as “DIY” guidance to facilitate your exploration of this term. 

Assessing Learning: Students at the Center


This paper examines five defining qualities of student-centered assessment and underscores its importance as part of a balanced system of formative, interim, and summative assessments that, taken together, provide useful detailed information to inform learning, instruction, decision making, and policy. Several useful student-centered assessment resources can be found on the bottom of the page, including a collection of videos.


Heidi Andrade, Kristen Huff, Georgia Brooke

Resource Type 

  • Report

Publishing Organization 

Jobs for the Future

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit


Diagnostic Assessment
Formative Assessment
Performance Task
Performance Assessment