Posted on 01/31/2023

Parent Guide to State Assessments in Michigan: Provided by the National PTSA. 2017.

What is the Purpose of Summative Assessment?

There are two types of assessments — assessment for learning and assessment of learning. Summative assessments are assessments of learning; their purpose is to describe how much a student has learned by the end of a period of instruction.

Summative assessment may be in the form of:


  • extended cycle assessments, which include end of-course exams, capstone projects or portfolios, performance assessments, and annual statewide summative assessments
  • shorter cycle assessments, which include end-of unit tests, reports and thesis papers, and midterm exams


The M-STEP, PSAT™ 8/9 for Grade 8, SAT® with Essay, MI-Access, WIDA ACCESS for ELLs, and

WIDA Alternate ACCESS for ELLs are all examples of extended cycle statewide summative assessments.

These assessments, which students take once each year, measure the student’s progress toward

achieving Michigan’s academic and English language development standards. Annual assessment results can be used by school and district administrators, policymakers, and state officials to identify areas where aggregate student groups are, or are not, meeting the state standards; to determine whether local curricula are aligned to state standards; to evaluate program effectiveness; and to assure that schools and districts most in need of assistance are identified and getting the help they need. These assessments do not provide data that is to be used forday-to-day decisions.

Testing and Career Development Coordinator: Janet Norling