NSW Centre for Effective Reading

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Assessment is used to monitor student progress, measure growth, identify critical skill deficits, provide feedback to students and report to parents.

When a student is not reading at an age or grade appropriate level the first step is to identify exactly where the student's strengths and weaknesses lie by assessing and monitoring their progress in each of the five critical elements of reading. Curriculum based assessments will assist teachers to gather this information.

Key terms

Curriculum-based assessment (CBA) is a type of formative assessment that allows students to demonstrate their level of skills along a continuum. A specific level curriculum-based assessment covers all the components in a specific skill. The information gathered can reveal exactly where a student needs to be placed in the teaching sequence.

Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) is used to measure student progress towards mastery of specific skills. It is sometimes called progress monitoring. Student progress can be monitored using short assessment tasks or probes at regular intervals to:

  • document progress towards a goal
  • identify students who are not demonstrating adequate progress
  • record performance until a set criterion is achieved
  • demonstrate the effectiveness of the teaching program.

Standardised assessments

Standardised or norm referenced assessments assess and report a student's achievement in comparison to other students. These are often used to determine whether or not a student has a complex reading difficulty.

Criterion-referenced assessment

Criterion-referenced assessment evaluates a student's performance against specific observable and measurable criteria.

Assessment resources

Below are a list of assessment resources that may be useful: