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External Assessment- Definition, process, importance, advantages, disadvantages, suggestions for improvement

External Assessment


External assessment is set by the governing body, and is marked by non-biased personnel. Some external assessments give much more limited feedback in their marking. However, in tests such as Australia’s NAPLAN, the criterion addressed by students is given detailed feedback in order for their teachers to address and compare the student’s learning achievements and also to plan for the future.

External assessments are designed, selected, and controlled by another person or group–commercial publishers, district administrators, or state policymakers. Typical examples of external assessments include standardized and commercial reading tests. External assessments occur less frequently than internal assessments, but they usually have greater importance, more authority, and higher stakes attached to them. External assessments have been used as indicators of both the educational achievement of students and the quality of instruction in schools/ colleges

Definition of external assessment

External Assessment is organized and conducted through standardized test, observation, and other techniques by an external agency, other than the school/colleges.

Process of External Assessment Conduct

  • Selection of paper setters and reviewers.
  • Setting and moderation of question papers.
  • Printing and packing of question papers confidential nature of printing work.
  • Selection of examination centers
  • Appointment of superintendents and invigilators and staff for the fair conduct of examination at centers.
  • Supply of stationary to centers.
  • Distribution of question papers to examinees under the supervision of the centre superintendent.
  • Posting of police personnel at the centers.
  • Packing of answer scripts and sending them to Board’s office or examining body’s office.
  • Deployment of special squads for checking unfair means.
  • Assignment of fake of fictitious or secret roll numbers to answer books at the Board’s office.
  • On the spot evaluation at some specified centers where head examiner and examiners mark the scripts.


Importance & Objectives of External Assessment

  • To award the students with Degree/Certificate
  • To maintain standard of education
  • To place the students in merit.
  • For Comparison of student’s abilities
  • To evaluate the progress of Institution
  • Selection for Higher education
  • To get employment
  • Popularity/Standard of educational institution.
  • Selection of intelligent students.
  • Evaluation of teacher’s performance
  • Evaluation of objectives and curriculum.
  • Creation of good habits in students
  • Satisfaction and happiness of parents

Advantages of External Assessment

  • External assessment helps in developing competent person from practicing.
  • It justifies the decision as to whether they should move up to the next class or be awarded a degree or diploma.
  • External assessment is useful in determining the abilities of a student before developing a plan.
  • External assessment is designed to detect and locate faults and problems which often are overseen by internal systems
  • The vital advantage of an external assessment is that it makes easier to compare diverse situation and conditions and articulate their judgments about the equality of measures.
  • It also assists in following positive values.
  • A team of experienced assessors leads you through the structured review of how well students are doing, bringing fresh perspective and objectivity to the exercise.
  • Performance in educational institutes is increasingly judged on the basis of effective learning outcomes.
  • External assessment provides Information which is critical to know whether the School system is delivering good performance and to providing feedback for improvement in student outcomes.
  • External assessment is the best way to evaluate and revaluate the course of studies.
  • It can be used as a good device for motivating students.
  • It brings about a change in the attitude, interests and appreciation of students and teachers towards school programmes.


Disadvantages of External Assessment

  • Much narrower range of assessment opportunities: less diverse assessment; one exam per year.
  • Removes assessment entirely from teaching and learning; stressful conditions may lead to students not demonstrating real capacities.
  • Limits validity by limiting scope of assessment, e.g. difficult to assess interaction skills in exam environment.
  • Even with double marking, examiner’s judgments can be affected by various factors (task difficulty, topic, interest level, tiredness, etc); little opportunity for assessor reflection / review.
  • Fairness can only be achieved by treating everyone the same, i.e. setting the same task at the same time for all students.
  • The only feedback is usually a grade at the end of the course; no opportunities for interaction with assessor; no chance to ask how to improve.
  • Examination is purely summative, and does not serve any teaching-related purpose; effects on teaching and learning may even be negative; may encourage teaching to the test and a focus on exam technique, rather than outcomes.
  • Teachers play little to no role in assessment of their students and have no opportunity to share their expertise or knowledge of their students; students treated as numbers.
  • Teachers have no opportunity to build their assessment skills; get little or no feedback on how to improve as teachers.

Suggestions for Improvement of external assessment

  • Comprehensive Evaluation
  • Employees of examining bodies to be controlled
  • Invigilating staff
  • Secrecy sections should be fool proof
  • Appointment of Examiners
  • Change in examination point of view, It should not be objective, It should be mean to achieve objectives
  • Reform in question papers
  • Marking of Answer Scripts
  • Ban on helping books and guess papers
  • Amalgamation of Internal and External exam
  • Oral test should be taken
  • Amalgamation of subjective and objective type test
  • Record of students
  • Question paper should be based on curriculum rather than text book