When you are trying to discover exactly how a student is doing, a good diagnostic assessment will give granular information across many different skills and subskills, so that a personalized plan can be created. What is a diagnostic assessment, and how does it differ from other types of assessments such as formative or summative assessments?

Each type of assessment has it’s place. The diagnostic assessment explains what’s going on with each individual student to help allow individualized instruction; a student’s strengths and weaknesses. Formative assessments help inform on a student’s progress while instruction is in-progress. And a summative assessment is given at the end of an instruction to measure success towards the goals. Sometimes these assessments feel similar, but a diagnostic assessment is in-depth, looking at subskills to provide a detailed look into a student’s current knowledge, struggles, and strategies for learning, to help guide lesson planning.

Ideally, if a student’s diagnostic assessment is used to create a personalized instruction plan, assessments over time should show steady improvement.

Ideally, if a student’s diagnostic assessment is used to create a personalized instruction plan, assessments over time should show steady improvement. Many of the specialized educational designations in education can be define through diagnostic testing. Diagnostic tests allow you to write IEPs (Individualized Education Programs), all tiers of RTI (Response to Intervention), and pull-out programs.

Unfortunately, the term “diagnostic” has become fuzzy because many commercial software vendors apply it to their software with a variety of definitions, providing either too few items to measure, or unclear outcomes. Let’s Go Learn’s diagnostic assessments measure student performance, skills, and growth to help educators support the unique learning needs of every student.