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Should You Do Formative Assessments?

Zoe Kramer January 25, 2023

Educators will always recommend you do formative assessments, so that you can get feedback before you embark on your summative work. But how important are these assignments, really? Are they truly useful, or is your time better spent elsewhere? The answer likely depends on a number of factors, including your learning style, your approach to the subject, and past experiences. Deciding whether to spend time on something that has no impact on your marks is a tough decision. Here is how to work out whether you should do formative assessments.

Reasons Why You Should Skip Formative Assessments

While they tend to be shorter than summative assessments, formative assessments can still be a significant time commitment. Because of this, it’s a good idea to evaluate your other commitments before you embark on this assignment. If you have a part-time job, for example, it may be difficult to squeeze this extra work in after your shifts. Or, perhaps you have due dates approaching in your other modules, and those need to be your first priority. Maybe you just want to make sure you have time to spend with your friends in between studying: your social life. matters, too.

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How comfortable you are with the subject plays a big role, too. If it’s something you have a good background in and have been studying for years, you may be comfortable proceeding without the initial feedback.

Reasons Why You Should Do Formative Assessments

Still, formative assessments can be helpful in many ways. Completing them essentially gives you an early start on your final assignment, with plenty of time to try out different ideas and explore. This head start can take off much of the pressure when the deadline begins to approach, because you won’t be starting from scratch. Having the feedback to work with can also be invaluable. It allows you to steer clear of some of the pitfalls you might otherwise run into. In this way, even though formative assessments don’t count toward your marks directly, they can still impact them in the long run.

If you’re dealing with new subject matter in this module, or if it’s a topic you don’t fully have a grasp on yet, doing the formative assessment is likely to be very helpful. If you have any concerns about the assignment, you can always go to your module leader directly to clear things up.

See also: How To Use The SQ3R Method To Study

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Zoe Kramer is a full-time staff writer on Freshered. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.