• Types of


    at GEMS (Singapore)


Understanding every child

GEMS (Singapore) is a culturally rich school in which children have come from many different parts of the world and many of those children have had extremely diverse educational experiences in other countries. As a school, it is important that we know each student in terms of their social, emotional and academic development. We use a range of assessment methods and international benchmarks to pinpoint students’ strengths and areas for improvement so that their education can be tailored for greater levels of personalised learning.   

Assessment is a vital tool and takes a variety of forms. It helps teachers, learners and parents to understand the depth and breadth of learning undertaken so that progress and next steps can be discussed and planned.



We see assessment as a tool to support and promote student learning

Teachers administer appropriate sets of assessment tasks and rigorously apply the prescribed assessment criteria defined for each subject group. The type of assessment tools available to teachers includes all forms of:

  • oral work
  • written work
  • practical work

Formative and summative tools are used for assessment practices at GEMS World Academy (Singapore), which assist with ongoing teaching and learning. Assessment feedback provides a measure of current success and directs future study.

Diagnostic assessment

Diagnostic assessment is a form of pre-assessment that allows a teacher to determine students' individual strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and skills prior to instruction. It is primarily used to diagnose student difficulties and to guide lesson and curriculum planning.


Formative assessment

Formative assessment is used to gather information and indicates progressive evidence of student learning, in order to guide students on future learning needs. We recognise this as an assessment for learning. Formative assessment tools include, but are not limited to teacher/student discussions, practice tests, self-assessment, peer assessment, reflective writing exercises, teacher observations, group presentations, quizzes and homework tasks.

Summative assessment

Summative assessment is used to gather information and evidence of student learning at the end of a defined learning period, in order to provide achievement information aligned to the expected standards for the course. Summative assessment tools include, but are not limited to student presentations, written tasks, unit tests, assignments, scientific reports and examinations.

In the PYP, learning is viewed as a continuous journey, where teachers identify students’ needs and use assessment data to plan the next stage of their learning. Teachers use a wide range of assessment strategies to collect information on each of the elements represented in the written curriculum: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastering of skills, the development of positive attitudes and the ability to take responsible action.

Formative Assessment

Assessment of prior knowledge at the beginning of each unit and Unit of Inquiry (UOI) Assessment with the help of a wide range of age-appropriate formative assessment tools based on best practice to demonstrate understanding Consistent and continuous formative assessment through the unit and UOI. 

Summative Assessment

An outline of the summative task will be accessible for parents and the criteria and task outlined for students no later than a week ahead of beginning the task Summative assessment is designed to assess knowledge and understanding of the central idea Consistent assessment across grade levels through collaboration.


Grades 6-10

The MYP uses a criterion-referenced model of assessment. Assessment throughout the five years of the programme is against criteria linked to specific objectives.

The IB publishes criteria and descriptors for year 5 of the programme, which cannot be changed by individual schools and are therefore common to all students across the world. The school uses the published criteria and descriptors for students in MYP year 4 (Grade 9) and MYP year 5 (Grade 10) of the programme.

In the MYP (Grades 6 to 8), students are assessed against criteria and descriptors published by the IB that have been modified to best suit the age group of the students.

For each assessment criterion, a number of band descriptors are defined. These describe a range of achievement levels with the lowest represented as 1 and highest as 8. The descriptors concentrate on positive achievement, although failure to achieve may be included in the description for the lower levels.

Our MYP students in Grades 9 and 10 have a choice of completing IGCSE examinations. IGCSE qualifications as assessed through external examinations.


Grades 11-12

Internal assessments are mandatory assessments completed during Grades 11 and 12 that focus on skills as well as the subject content. These assessments are graded by the classroom teacher using the rubric published by IB. The internal assessment scores are submitted to IB for moderation to ensure all internal assessment scores worldwide are consistent.

External IBDP/CP assessments are mandatory assessments that are completed during Grade 12 that are not scored by the classroom teacher. These assessments include IB examinations that are administered during the May testing session.


The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on the theory of knowledge and the extended essay.

The student will be awarded a diploma if they gain at least 21 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance, including successful completion of the three essential elements of the DP core. 

In order to attain the IB Diploma, a candidate must fulfil a number of requirements, including:

  • gain at least 21 points in total
  • a grade A-D in TOK and the EE
  • 12 points or more on HL subjects
  • 9 points or more on SL subjects
  • CAS requirements have been met

Award of the IB Career-related Certificate requires the student to pass all elements, scoring no less than 3 points in each Diploma Programme course taken.

All students who successfully complete requirements for graduation will also receive GEMS (Singapore) High School Diploma, which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).


 Measure of Academic Progress (MAP)


GEMS students from Grade 1 through to Grade 10 will participate in standardised MAP testing from August 2020.

MAP is a computerised adaptive test which helps teachers, parents, and administrators improve learning for all students and make informed decisions to promote a child's academic growth. 

This assessment is designed to target a student's academic performance in Mathematics, Reading, and Science. These tests are tailored to an individual's current achievement level. This gives each student a fair opportunity to show what he or she knows and can do. Because the computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions as the test progresses, each student takes a unique test. 

MAP is used to measure a student's progress or growth in school. The testing information is vital to teachers because it indicates a student's strengths are and help that is needed in any specific areas. Teachers can use this information to help them guide instruction in the classroom. 

When taking the MAP test, the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. Although the tests are not timed, it usually takes students about one hour to complete each test. Students will repeat the tests two more times during the year to continually assess student progress and personalise learning as needed.



Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4)


GEMS students from Grade 1 through to Grade 10 complete the CAT4 assessment once per every two years.

CAT4 is a diagnostic assessment that is designed to help teachers better understand how their students learn and what their academic potential might be. It assesses how students think in areas that are known to make a difference in learning. While many tests focus on a child's attainment in core subjects, CAT4 is designed to give schools a much broader, more rounded view of each child, their potential and how they learn. Results help teachers decide about the pace of learning that is right for a student, and whether additional support or challenge is needed.

CAT4 data provides our teachers with information that can form the basis for discussions about how best a student can learn and reach his or her potential in school. Teachers are provided with an individual profile of learning preference along with a range of indicators of likely future performance. Along with other information and assessments from the classroom, this data can support both teaching and learning.



 Pupils Attitudes to Self and School (PASS)


GEMS students from Grade 1 through to Grade 12 complete the PASS assessment twice a year.

PASS is a psychometric assessment which consists of a series of questions designed to spot attitudinal or emotional issues in students before they impact school performance.

The assessment is administered twice throughout the academic year - during Quarter 2 and Quarter 4.  The assessment in Quarter 2 enables class teachers, pastoral leaders, and school administrators to identify students of concern in addition to better understanding the individual needs of all students.  The assessment conducted in Quarter 4 provides an opportunity to measure the efficacy of our interventions and have a closer look at the individual needs of our students.

Received data identifies new trends and themes that need to be addressed across particular grade levels and is highly used in planning our Personal Social Health Education offerings.



English Language Assessment (WIDA and Aptis)


In Primary and Secondary Years, we closely monitor our English language learner's progress in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing through internationally benchmarked assessments.

The data allows our teachers to tailor their teaching to meet every child's academic needs. We are proud of our EAL programme and leverage these internationally accredited assessments to streamline our teaching and learning.


Grade level 
Assessment type
Grades 1-5 

The WIDA Model assessment is a rigorous range of diagnostic tests which are used extensively around the world.  WIDA provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their English language proficiency in the four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Each of these domains is assessed separately and provide highly detailed reports which are available to parents. We conduct the WIDA assessments three times per year.

Grades 6-10

 assessment is a general English language test designed by the British Council to assess students' English proficiency in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The results from Aptis are mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), allowing us to understand the skills and competencies of our students easily. The tasks in Aptis are communicative, which means they test the abilities to interact in English in real-life situations. We conduct Aptis assessment two times a year, at the end of Semester 1 and at the end of Semester 2.



GEMS (Singapore) have recently introduced a student survey platform which will provide our teachers with the opportunity to gain feedback from our students from Grade 1 through to Grade 12 regarding their teaching practice. 

International evidence has shown that, if done right, student surveys can provide fair and accurate insights into teaching practice while also delivering student agency. 

PIVOT helps teachers to understand their impact and effectiveness in the classroom - focusing on strengths in addition to areas for growth and development. The student survey window is open twice per academic year - during Quarter 2 and Quarter 4.  


How to find out more