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NSW Syllabuses

Mathematics Years 7–10 assessment strategies

Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. Well-designed assessment is central to engaging students and should be closely aligned to the syllabus outcomes within a stage. 

Years 7–10 Assessment Strategies

Teachers provide a range of assessment opportunities to gather and evaluate evidence of a student's learning.

The following assessment foras and of learning approaches are relevant to all learning areas:

  • collaborative activities
  • peer assessment 
  • self-assessment 
  • teacher observations.

Detailed advice on these strategies is available in:

Years 7–10 assessment strategies.

Additional mathematics Strategies

Some additional strategies that are particularly relevant to Mathematics include:

Collections of student work

Assessment can enhance student engagement and motivation, particularly when it provides opportunities for interaction with teachers, other students and a range of resources. Collections of student work may be reviewed at specific points in the learning process to inform future teaching and learning opportunities or as summative assessment at the conclusion of a unit of work, term, semester or year.

Assessment activities may include:

  • written explanations of problem -solving approaches and/or mathematical processes, eg writing a method to solve a particular mathematical problem
  • summaries of concepts explored in a unit or work
  • posing questions to extend mathematical problems and investigations
  • formulating a set of questions (could include multiple-choice questions) that would be used to assess the extent of students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to a substrand/unit 
  • diaries and journals
  • student self-reflections and evaluations
  • pen-and-paper tests, including multiple-choice questions, online quizzes and response questions including interdependent questions (where one part depends on the answer obtained in the preceding part)
  • open-book tests, where appropriate
  • pre-, mid- and post-unit testing.

When work samples are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • use appropriate terms and concepts
  • select effective strategies and compute calculations accurately
  • effectively communicate their understandings
  • justify and support ideas
  • respond accurately to stimulus
  • evaluate a range of sources, including ICT sources.

Practical activities

Practical activities provide students with opportunities to pose questions, investigate, manipulate, make decisions and make observations. Students may work individually or in groups.

Assessment activities may include:

  • investigations exploring the process of problem-solving tasks when Working Mathematically
  • participation in hypothetical scenarios where students apply their knowledge, understanding and skills
  • manipulation of data using ICT
  • students’ manipulation of materials to demonstrate conceptual understanding of key concepts
  • scriptwriting, filming and evaluating (eg exploring understanding of perimeter and area)
  • rotation of students through a range of skill-based activities
  • hands-on activities, including the use of ICT (eg measurement activities that require active thinking and involvement).

When practical activities are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • ask and devise questions
  • identify and investigate a problem
  • plan and carry out a procedure individually or in groups
  • select and use appropriate strategies and equipment, including ICT
  • make and record accurate observations
  • draw valid conclusions
  • effectively represent their findings.

Inquiry-based research activities

Students can develop their critical and creative thinking skills when they are provided with opportunities to research and evaluate information, consider new ideas and make connections.

Assessment activities may include:

  • samples of students’ oral, recorded and written work
  • inquiry and problem-solving projects (eg personal interest projects, investigations and learning contracts)
  • interpretation exercises (eg interpret information from the internet, media environment and other sources that use numbers)
  • comparing and contrasting tasks
  • developing explanations or evaluations
  • launching assessments within a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or Learning Management System (LMS) (eg quiz, wiki, student-moderated forum discussion)
  • game-based learning opportunities
  • graphic organisers to investigate questions and help students make their thinking visible
  • the use of open-ended and inquiry questioning
  • manipulation of concrete materials to demonstrate understanding.

When inquiry-based research is used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • describe a valid problem to research
  • accurately observe and/or collect relevant data and information 
  • analyse findings and draw valid conclusions
  • establish cause-and-effect relationships
  • make connections between related concepts
  • evaluate strengths and weaknesses.


Presentations provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding to an audience. The format may be spoken or written, multimodal, or a combination of these. Presentations may be prepared or impromptu, depending on the requirements of the activity. Peer and self-assessment may be used in conjunction with this assessment strategy.

Assessment activities may include:

  • preparing audio/visual digital presentations and multimodal presentations about a new concept or an investigation
  • prepared and impromptu demonstrations and worked examples
  • web publication of learning (eg learning blogs, student-created websites)
  • observing real or simulated performance
  • poster presentation explaining what worked and what did not
  • drawings, symbols and words to connect ideas and relationships between concepts
  • mini presentations applying mathematics to real-life situations using ICT.

When presentations are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • use appropriate terms and concepts
  • use appropriate forms to communicate their knowledge, understanding and skills.


Also see: