Understanding every child

GEMS (Singapore) is a culturally rich school in which children have come from many different parts of the world and many of those children have had extremely diverse educational experiences in other 


As a school, it is important that we know each student in terms of their social, emotional and academic development. It is also important to know their strengths and areas for improvement so that their education can be tailored for greater levels of personalised learning.

Assessment is a vital tool in the modern teacher's toolkit and takes a variety of forms. Teachers use a range of assessment methods to pinpoint areas of strength and trouble-spots for students, making them better equipped to plan effectively to meet their students' needs.

We see assessment as a tool to support and promote student learning

Teachers administer appropriate sets of assessment tasks and rigorously apply the prescribed assessment criteria defined for each subject group. The type of assessment tools available to teachers includes all forms of:

  • oral work
  • written work
  • practical work

Formative and summative tools are used for assessment practices at GEMS World Academy (Singapore), which assist with ongoing teaching and learning. Assessment feedback provides a measure of current success and directs future study.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment is used to gather information and indicates progressive evidence of student learning, in order to guide students on future learning needs. We recognise this as an assessment for learning. Formative assessment tools include, but are not limited to: teacher/student discussions, practice tests, self-assessment, peer assessment, reflective writing exercises, teacher observations, group presentations, quizzes and homework tasks.

Summative assessment

Summative assessment is used to gather information and evidence of student learning at the end of a defined learning period, in order to provide achievement information aligned to the expected standards for the course. Summative assessment tools include, but are not limited to: student presentations, written tasks, unit tests, assignments, scientific reports and examinations.

Formative assessment

Diagnostic assessment is a form of pre-assessment that allows a teacher to determine students' individual strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and skills prior to instruction. It is primarily used to diagnose student difficulties and to guide lesson and curriculum planning.


In the PYP, learning is viewed as a continuous journey, where teachers identify students’ needs and use assessment data to plan the next stage of their learning. Teachers use a wide range of assessment strategies to collect information on each of the elements represented in the written curriculum: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastering of skills, the development of positive attitudes and the ability to take responsible action.

Formative Assessment

Assessment of prior knowledge at the beginning of each unit and Unit of Inquiry (UOI) Assessment with the help of a wide range of age-appropriate formative assessment tools based on best practice to demonstrate understanding Consistent and continuous formative assessment through the unit and UOI. 

Summative Assessment

An outline of the summative task will be accessible for parents and the criteria and task outlined for students no later than a week ahead of beginning the task Summative assessment is designed to assess knowledge and understanding of the central idea Consistent assessment across grade levels through collaboration.


The MYP uses a criterion-referenced model of assessment. Assessment throughout the five years of the programme is against criteria linked to specific objectives.

The IB publishes criteria and descriptors for year 5 of the programme, which cannot be changed by individual schools and are therefore common to all students across the world. The school uses the published criteria and descriptors for students in MYP year 4 (Grade 9) and MYP year 5 (Grade 10) of the programme.

In the MYP (Grades 6 to 8), students are assessed against criteria and descriptors published by the IB that have been modified to best suit the age group of the students.

For each assessment criterion, a number of band descriptors are defined. These describe a range of achievement levels with the lowest represented as 1 and highest as 8.

The descriptors concentrate on positive achievement, although failure to achieve may be included in the description for the lower levels.

IGCSE qualifications as assessed through external examinations and externally marked and moderated course. Each subject is marked against a set of published Assessment Objectives.

The DP programme uses both internally and externally assessed components to measure student performance.

Internal assessment refers to work initially marked by the teacher and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.

Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Each of the subject courses receives a grade from 1 to 7. Students can also be awarded up to 3 additional points for their combined results in Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay. The CP’s Personal and Professional Skills is graded from 1 to 7, whereas the Service Learning and Language components are marked on a pass/fail basis.

In order to attain the IB Diploma, a candidate must fulfil a number of requirements, including:

• At least 24 points total

- at grade A-D in TOK and the EE

- 12 points or more on HL subjects

• 9 points or more on SL subjects

• CAS requirements have been met

Award of the Career-related Certificate requires the student to pass all elements, scoring no less than 3 points in each Diploma Programme course taken.

How to find out more