Continuous Cumulative Assessment in Higher Education: Coming to Grips with Test Enhanced Learning

  • Ekaterina PopkovaEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


Cumulative assessment, as part of a broader area of continuous assessment, keeps up with the times, meeting the requirements of increasing learner-involvement in the educational process. Practice has shown, however, that implementation of this type of assessment in tertiary education for the time being falls short of ELT community’s expectations, with final achievement tests, perhaps by way of tradition, still being a preferred method of assessing student knowledge and skills. Moreover, those higher educational institutions that do apply continuous assessment express concerns over its expediency complaining that teaching conditions of tertiary education turn the formative nature of continuous assessment to summative, thus bringing all its benefits to nought. The study below aims to examine the effectiveness of continuous cumulative assessment in the context of higher education. Specifically, it looks at the rationale behind the testing system applied and investigates its reliability based on the correlation of the grades received during the course with the final exam grade. The results of the study, obtained both through qualitative and quantitative data analyses, demonstrate that as continuous cumulative assessment reveals both formative and summative nature, its benefits out weigh the drawbacks. The research was conducted in the course of delivering ESP (Legal English) and EAP courses to 2nd and 4th year undergraduate law students at one of the leading Russian universities. The principles postulated, however, are believed to be applicable across disciplines in other educational contexts.


Cumulative assessment Continuous assessment Tertiary education Formative assessment Summative assessment Test-enhanced learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MGIMO UniversityMoscowRussia

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