Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. Middle Years Programme (MYP) assessment requires teachers to assess the prescribed subject-group objectives using the assessment criteria for each subject group in each year of the programme. In order to provide students with opportunities to achieve at the highest level, MYP teachers develop rigorous tasks that embrace a variety of assessment strategies.
In the MYP, teachers make decisions about student achievement using their professional judgment, guided by mandated criteria that are public, known in advance and precise, ensuring that assessment is transparent. Across a variety of assessment tasks (authentic performances of understanding), teachers use descriptors to identify students’ achievement levels against established assessment criteria.
Assessment in the MYP aims to:
- support and encourage student learning by providing feedback on the learning process
- inform, enhance and improve the teaching process
- provide an opportunity for students to exhibit transfer of skills across disciplines, such as in the personal project and interdisciplinary unit assessments
- promote positive student attitudes towards learning
- promote a deep understanding of subject content by supporting students in their inquiries set in real world contexts
- promote the development of critical and creative-thinking skills
- reflect the international-mindedness of the programme by allowing assessments to be set in a variety of cultural and linguistic contexts
- support the holistic nature of the programme by including in its model principles that take account of the development of the whole student.
Assessment practices in the MYP can sometimes represent significant challenges to existing school practices. Some key features of MYP assessment include:
- distinction between internal summative assessment and the supporting formative processes
- attention to the most accurate demonstration of student performance, rather than mechanically and uncritically averaging achievement levels over given reporting periods
- assessment of student understanding at the end of a course, based on the whole course and not individual components of it.
The aim of MYP assessment is to support and encourage student learning. The MYP places an emphasis on assessment processes that involve the gathering and analysis of information about student performance and that provide timely feedback to students on their performance. MYP assessment plays a significant role in the development of ATL skills, especially skills that are closely related to subject-group objectives. The MYP approach to assessment recognizes the importance of assessing not only the products, but also the process, of learning.