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South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996)

National Policy on Assessment and Qualifications for Schools in the General Education and Training Band





Authentic assessment

Authentic assessment refers to assessment that aims to assess knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in contexts that closely resemble actual situations in which that knowledge and those skills, values and attitudes are used.

Assessment forms

The most appropriate means of assessing and determining how well learners are learning.

Assessment Standard

Describes the minimum level at which learners should demonstrate the achievement of a Learning Outcome and the ways or range (breadth and depth) of demonstrating the achievement. It is grade-specific.

Assessment strategies

The approaches taken to assess a learner’s performance, using a number of assessment forms appropriate to the task and the level of the learner’s understanding.

Assessment Task

This is an assessment activity that is designed to assess a range of skills and competencies. For example, one task is:

an assignment
a test
an exam which may include 1,2 or 3 papers.

Common Tasks for Assessment

A series of tasks intended to obtain information about a learner’s demonstrated achievement. These tasks must cover a range of assessment activities, e.g. practical / project / classroom / homework / oral / presentations / paper-and-pencil tests / etc.

Continuous assessment

An ongoing process that measures a learner’s achievement during the course of a grade or level, providing information that is used to support a learner’s development and enable improvements to be made in the learning and teaching process.

Criterion-referenced assessment

Criterion-referenced assessments measure how well a student performs against a standard or criterion, rather than against another student.

External assessment

Any assessment activity, instrument or programme of which the design, development and implementation have been initiated, directed and coordinated by the provincial education departments and the Department of Education, either collectively or individually.


The process of verifying the results of the continuous and external assessment.

Pen-and-paper task

A task written under controlled conditions that requires a written response and measures a learner’s understanding and performance across a range of competences.

Programme of Assessment

A yearlong grade-specific formal plan of assessment for a Learning Programme/ Learning Area/ Subject.

Record Sheet

Record of learner performance in formally assessed tasks expressed as national codes together with descriptors or percentages. May or may not include comments. The use of comments is essential in the Foundation Phase.


Quarterly record of learner performance, which is kept at the school. The progression / promotion schedule is submitted to the district at the end of the year.

School Assessment Plan

A plan of assessment, which includes the formal tasks for all Learning Programmes / Learning Areas / Subjects to be undertaken during the school year.

Teacher Portfolio

Collection of all planning for assessment, including the assessment tasks and assessment tools for both formal and informal assessment. It should include the Record Sheet(s).