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Writing Assessment Criteria

Writing Assessment Criteria

Assessment criteria are crucial in establishing a clear understanding between staff and students about what is expected from assessed work.

Assessment criteria allow both staff and students to have an agreement about what’s expected from assessed work. 

Assessment criteria should: 

  • specify what standards are looking to be met and what evidence is used to show the achievement of learning outcomes 
  • help staff to ensure consistency in the ways that they assess specific pieces of work 
  • help students be aware of the aims of what they need to do 
  • indicate to students why they have received certain marks for their work and what they need to do to improve 

Assessment criteria should be shared with students prior to the assessment and explained as needed. Showing what assessors are looking for helps students interpret assessment criteria and further understand the grading process. Clear and specific assessment criteria can be extremely effective in helping students improve their performance.  

Examples you might find useful: 


Top Tips for Writing Assessment Criteria  

  • Check if your school has example assessment criteria/rubrics 
  • Match an assessment criterion with each of your learning outcomes. This will get you thinking about what it is that you are looking for. If you’re aiming for students to develop complexity of knowledge and understanding   you may need to start thinking about the criteria at a broader level 
  • Check for parity across grade boundaries Consider what a student would need to do to obtain each classification- be clear about the components which make up good performance, eg: clear structure, argument, engagement with critical material. It is best to start at a pass, and work towards a first class. Criteria should concentrate on what the student has done, rather than what they have not done 
  • Best practice is to ask colleagues to read your criteria and check them for clarity  
  • Criteria may be revised from year-to-year in response to feedback. 


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