What are the limitations of standardised tests?

Standardised tests form part of an effective assessment system, but they cannot measure everything. For this reason standardised tests are best used alongside regular in-class formative feedback about what a pupil knows or can do.

  • Any test will reflect a pupil’s performance at point in time, and this may be affected by factors such as tiredness or illness
  • Some pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) may be unable to access particular tests
  • Some pupils with very high attainment will reach the “ceiling” of a static test so the information from the test is not that helpful to the teacher