Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation

Main Difference – Assessment vs Evaluation

Assessments and evaluations are two essential components in the process of teaching and learning. These two words have a special significant in the context of education, and although many people tend to use these terms interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between the two. An assessment is the process of investigating what and how students are learning in relation to the excepted learning objectives. Evaluating involves making a judgment about the quality of students’ learning and work. This is the main difference between assessment and evaluation.

This article explains,

1. What is Assessment? – Focus, Function/Purpose, Outcome

2. What is Evaluation?- Focus, Function/Purpose, Outcome

3. What is the difference between Assessment and Evaluation?

Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation - Comparison Summary

What is Assessment

Assessment helps the educators to investigate what students are learning and how well they are learning it, especially in relation to the expected learning outcomes of a lesson. Thus, it helps the educator to understand how the students understand the lesson, and to determine what changes need to be made to the teaching process. Thus it focuses on learning as well as teaching and can be termed as an interactive process.

Assessment exercises are often not graded and anonymous. Thus, it gives the educator a general sense about the success of the lesson. If the majority of the students have done badly, the educator can make changes to the lesson or the methodology, based on the assumptions that most of the students have not understood the lesson properly.  Thus, assessments are formative and diagnostic.

Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation

What is Evaluation 

Evaluation focuses on what has been learned by the students. The evaluation process is used to make a judgment about the quality of students’ learning/work. The students will be assigned a grade based on this judgment. Evaluation activities such as examples, papers, etc. are considered to be a formal way to assess the expected outcomes of a course.

The evaluation may not only judge a student’s knowledge but may also include other classroom components such as attendance, participation in class activities, discussions, etc.

Main Difference - Assessment vs Evaluation

Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation

Focus of Measurement

Assessment tests how learning is going.

Evaluation tests what has been learned.

Function / Purpose

Assessment is diagnostic; it identifies areas for improvements.

Evaluation is judgmental; it arrives at an overall score.


Assessments identify weaknesses and improve the learning.

Evaluations judge the quality.


Assessments are conducted during the learning process.

Evaluations are held at the end of the learning process.

Relationship between students

Assessments help students to learn from each other.

Evaluations make students compete with each other.

Image Courtesy:

“Test (student assessment)” By KF – English Wikipedia .Image:Test.jpg (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 

“401519” (Public Domain) via Pixbay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.