Difference between Formal and Informal Assessment

Main Difference

The main target of the formal assessment is to present a systematic way for the prime goal of evaluating the progress of the students in a specific instructional program for which the assessment is designed. A formal assessment can be announced after the completion of a topic, subject or term and thee questions which will be asked in that assessment will be related to that topic. From the utilization of the formal assessment, the evaluation of all the students will become possible in a systematic manner. The informal assessment is one of the authentic assessments that can be taken by designing special activities, including the projects announced for group or individual, various kinds of experiments, verbal presentations, demonstrations, or actual performances. A number of informal assessments are created for the typical classroom environments only consisting of the assignments, journals, essays writing, reports making, literature discussion groups, or reading logs. In the informal assessment technique, it is easier said than done to show the progress of every student by using actual works. Therefore, it is the obligation of the tutors to keep necessary notes or checklists for the purpose of recording their observations come in front of them by the student-teacher conferences or informal classroom communications. The simplest way to perform the informal assessment is to take vital stops during instructions in order to observe or to discuss with the students about the learning progress.


Formal Assessment

formal-assessmentFormal assessments are basically the official ways of finding out the learning advancement of the students that have been improved or decreased during the selected instructional period. The major examples of the formal assessments are exams, diagnostic tests, achievement examinations, screening test, intelligence tests and lots of others. In every kind of formal assessment, the standardized methods of administering the tests are utilized. The formal assessments contain the formal grading system which is interpreting in the official ways. From the exercising of the formal assessments, the tutors will become capable of assessing the performance or the level of skill of their learners easily that they can describe in a few words when they are asked. Most of the times, at the end of every lesson in the school text book, different types of exercises are presented for the purpose of assessing whether the students have learnt the major concepts of that topic or chapter in such a manner that they are able to solve the problems related to that lesson.


Informal Assessment

informal-assessment The main target of informal assessment is to assess and evaluate the performance of the learners along with their practical skills by avoiding the use of the standardized tests and scoring patterns which are officially in practice. As a result, you will never find any standardized tool in order to calculate or evaluate the performances of the students in the informal assessment tools. For the sake of performing the informal assessments, various kinds of projects, experiments and presentations can be established for the students whether in the classrooms or any other platform. The student which the teacher has chosen is asked some question that the student has to answer in front of the whole class.

Key Differences

  • The use of the formal assessments is performed in order to evaluate the presentation of the students based on their grades. They are standardized in nature. In contrast, the nature of the informal assessments is qualitative and they don’t have any standardized tool for estimation.
  • The informal assessments can be made by means of stopping the lecture and check the students for the basic target of seeing their level of involvement in a glance. The quizzes, essays, lab reports and other regulated tools are related to formal assessment.
  • The nature of the formal assessments is standardized because they have a pre-decide criteria for evaluation. On the other hand, the nature of the informal assessments is not standardize as they are subjective in which no criteria to evaluate the performance is pre-decided.
  • Informal assessments are useful to determine the leaning skills for those students who become nervous when taking formal assessments and fail to perform to their true potential. Formal assessments are designed to evaluate the performance of those students who become nervous at the time when teacher asks them to answer all of a sudden.

Video Explanation