Assessments in Science

At the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, we use the terms testing and assessment in very specific ways. Testing refers to Ohio's State Tests. Assessment refers to the many formative and summative assessments teachers and districts use to monitor student progress at the local level. Learn more by reviewing the table below.


photograph of students testing in a classroom

  • Measures how students statewide are gaining knowledge and skills outlined in Ohio’s Learning Standards
  • Provides a measurement of each public school’s performance
  • Results appear in the Ohio School Report Card 


group of elementary students working together

  • Helps educators and parents monitor students’ school
  • Shows where students may need additional help or practice
  • Allows teachers to adjust their instruction to meet students’ needs 

Testing - Ohio’s State Tests

Ohio's Testing portal overview

Students in grades 5, 8, and biology take Ohio’s State Tests in Science. Teachers can best prepare their students for the tests by aligning their teaching with Ohio's Learning Standards, which serve as the basis for these tests. See the Model Curriculum and other resources to help plan standards-based instruction. 

Educators can access guidance documents, blueprints, sample tests and item tutorials for Ohio's State Tests in Science through Ohio’s Test Portal.

Additional State Test Resources

Assessment Development COmmittees

The Department created assessment development committees to review test questions and to help set scoring parameters. Ohio stakeholders serve on these committees. To allow as many stakeholders as possible an opportunity to serve, the Department periodically rotates current members off the committee so that new members may join. Serving on an assessment committee is a valuable professional development opportunity, as well as a networking opportunity with other Ohio educators.  The Assessment Committees page provides more information on test development, current assessment committees and how to get involved with developing Ohio state assessments for science. 

Assessment - Formative and Summative Assessments

We can define assessments as formative and summative, depending on their purposes.
  • Formative classroom assessments are strategies teachers use throughout the year to identify where students may need additional help or practice or when they are ready to move ahead in their learning. Rather than relying only upon traditional tests, teachers can use dozens of formative instructional practices to assess student progress. Then, they can adjust their teaching to meet students' needs. 
  • Summative classroom assessments evaluate student learning near the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against a standard.

Last Modified: 6/18/2024 4:20:53 PM