Creating a Summative Assessment

A summative assessment contributes to the final mark a student will receive for a course, therefore it is of vital importance that every element of the test creation and administration process is carefully monitored and checked to ensure everything is valid and correct.  

Here are some of the features you may find useful when creating a summative assessment in Surpass:

Introduction Page


With a summative test it is very likely that an introduction page will be needed to summarise basic information to the student. You can create an introduction page in the Item Authoring section. You can use the formatting toolbar to emphasise particular words or phrases.


Preview Mode


Preview mode in Surpass has been designed for the specific purpose of enabling users to view and interact with the question as the candidate would, in order to ensure no mistakes have been made and everything is functioning as expected. To use the Preview mode, press the Preview option once you have finished creating your page in Edit mode. You can also check marks are assigned correctly – once the correct answer has been entered in Preview mode, the mark value will change. The Preview mode also lets you examine the question from the candidate’s perspective.

Questions to Consider:


  • Will candidates find this question challenging?
  • Will candidates see the question as interesting and engaging?
  • Does the question challenge the candidate to apply knowledge rather than simply recall it?
  • Has the question been clearly worded?

Adding Users to Your Subject


You can add other users to your subject, and give them permissions within that subject so that they can work on your summative test, and check over elements such as formatting, spelling and grammar and functionality. To do this, go to the Setup section, go to Subjects, then select your subject in the table and press ‘Edit’ in the Team Members section.   You can now select ‘Add Team Member’ to add other users, then tick the boxes to give them the relevant permissions, and if you wish, make those permissions assignable so that user can assign it to other users.
Giving other users access and permissions for your subject enables users to each contribute to different elements in the test creation and administration process and check each other’s work, thus minimising the amount of mistakes made – a vital process in creating a summative test.

Quality Review Tests


Another useful step in minimising the possibility for mistakes or functionality issues in an on-screen summative assessment is to run a Quality Review test first. To create a Quality Review test, change the status in Test Form Details to Quality Review.To schedule the test, click the Create Test button to open the Schedule Test Wizard. When you have selected your centre, qualification and test, make sure “Show Quality test forms” is ticked. You then select the relevant Quality Review test to be sat. You can click the Quality Control button during the test to open the Quality Control Panel which displays information about attempted questions.

You can leave the Quality Control Panel open whilst answering questions, it will update automatically. This allows you to check marks are being allocated correctly.   Note: If you are creating a test that uses dynamic rules, you should create a Quality Review version that contains all of the items that may be used in the test. This allows you to check the functionality and mark setup for every item that may appear in the summative assessment.

Generate Reports


After the summative assessments have taken place, your faculty or institution may wish to view reports for the data regarding the tests. This data will be valuable following the summative assessment process in analysing student responses in the examination process, which in turn provides useful feedback to teaching staff as to which methods of teaching are most effective for student learning, and which areas students particularly struggle with and may need extra tutoring on. These reports can be downloaded as CSV files.


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