Main menu

Mainstream assessment systems - Iceland

Assessment of pupils’ status in primary/lower secondary schools may in principle be divided into five factors:

  • Standardised medical/psychological assessment.
  • Standardised educational assessment for children with learning difficulties, e.g. in reading and mathematics (tools such as Læsi, Talnalykill)
  • Informal educational assessment, carried out by teachers individually or in collaboration, e.g. continuous assessment or performance tests in individual study topic, checklists of various kinds used in class work, assessment of diligence and communication skills.
  • Formal in-school assessment two or three times a year, linked to the intermediate objectives of the National Curriculum Guide.
  • National examinations in Years 4, 7 and 10: standardised examinations are taken in order to assess whether pupils have achieved the intermediate objectives stated for them in the National Curriculum Guide for their age group.  National examinations are intended to provide pupils, parents, school staff and educational authorities with information and criteria on a nationwide basis. 

General study assessment

In the past, tests of knowledge and right/wrong tests were predominant in primary/lower secondary schools. In more recent times, a broader range of assessment of pupils has developed. Schools have increasing access to diagnostic tests and other testing tools.

Standardised reading tests, tests of motor development, reading-screening and standardised questionnaires are now used more than before. Individual-oriented study and inclusion have strengthened a broader range of assessment of pupils’ status. This applies especially at the primary level, in Years 1 to 3 and 4 to 7. 

New communications technology and software are increasingly being applied in teaching and assessment. This new technology is in its infancy in assessment work in primary/lower secondary schools. Many schools have started to give their pupils the opportunity to participate in the formation of study assessment, to take responsibility and assess themselves on the basis of their work. Pupils thus learn to consider their work in an effective way, and assess what has been done well, and what could be improved. Some schools have started using portfolios, which are in some cases computerised; each pupil keeps his/her work in the portfolio, and assesses his/her performance, together with the teacher.

  • LinkedIn
  • Google +