What Is the Difference Between Portfolio Assessment & a Standard Classroom Test?

Standard tests are a more traditional classroom assessment tool.
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Portfolio assessment and standard classroom tests are distinct ways to measure a student's academic progress. In a portfolio assessment, students present essays, cases, projects and other works developed over a particular class, grade level or throughout their entire middle school or high school career. Typical classroom tests require students to show what they have learned in a unit or semester in a class.

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Standard multiple-choice or true/false classroom tests are a common way teachers assess whether students have learned material taught in class. Portfolios allow students a more creative way to showcase their experiences and academic progress. In a typical portfolio assessment, students verbally present their work and argue persuasively what they have learned in a unit or subject. While schools and instructors sometimes believe a portfolio assessment is better for students, many still use standard testing to align with state and national standardized testing programs that assess school performance.

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.