4.Diagnostic Assessment

Diagnostic assessment is concerned with the persistent or recurring learning difficulties that are left unresolved by the standard corrective prescriptions of formative evaluation. If a pupil continues to fail in reading, mathematics, or other subjects, despite the use of prescribed alternatives methods instruction (e.g., programmed materials, visual aids), then a more detailed diagnosis is indicated. To use a analogy formative evaluation provides first-aid treatment for simple learning problems and diagnostic evaluation searches for the under lying causes of those problems that do not respond to that treatment and, thus, is much more comprehensive and detailed. It involves the use of specially prepared diagnostic tests as well as various observational techniques. Serious learning problems are also likely to require the services of remedial, psychological, and medical, specialists. The main aim of diagnostic evaluation is to determine the causes of learning problems and to formulate a plan for remedial action. N.E. Gronlund states that: medical”It is concerned with permanent learning difficulties that are left unresolved by corrective procedures of formative assessment.”If a student continues to fail in mathematics, despite the use of improved methods of instructions, then more detailed diagnosis is needed. Formative assessment provides first aid treatment for simple learning problems while diagnostic assessment is comprehensive and detailed search for the underlying problems that are not responded by first aid treatment.


1.It determines the causes of learning problems.

2.It formulates a plan for remedial action.

3.It is comprehensive and detailed search.

4. It needs the help of psychological, medical and subject experts.

5.It helps in vocational, individual and social guidance.

Tools of Diagnostic Assessment:

1.Diagnostic Tests

2. Observation Techniques

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