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Approaches to knowledge assessment in the system of general secondary education of Ukraine are based on the Criteria for Assessing Knowledge of Pupils in the System of General Secondary Education approved by Order No 329 of the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine, dated April 13, 2011.

According to the applicable legislation of Ukraine, the academic results showed by pupils in subjects of the invariable component of the curriculum of an educational institution are subject to mandatory assessment.

Since 2000, Ukrainian schools have been measuring the knowledge of their pupils on a 12-point scale introduced by Order No 428/48 of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, dated September 4, 2000 and titled “On the Introduction of a 12-point Scale for Assessing Academic Achievements of Students in the System of General Secondary Education”.

Teachers measure the knowledge, abilities, and skills of the first-year pupils verbally in an informal manner. But starting from the next year and on, such assessment is made on a 12-point scale, with marks ranging from 1 to 12 awarded.

Academic achievements of children with special educational needs are assessed in accordance with the requirements of applicable legislation of Ukraine.

The object of assessment in the system of general secondary education is the result of the day-by-day study efforts of pupils in class and at home.

The assessment is made upon the results of the following test types:

  • verbal (individual, in-group, and head-on quizzes);
  • written (independent work and tests);
  • graphic (work with diagrams, graphs, charts, outline maps); and
  • practical (various experiments and learning projects, work with bio material, and handicraft).

The assessment system has 4 (four) academic achievement measurement tiers:

  • first tier – the lowest (1-3 points). The pupil’s answer is fragmentary, evincing only introductory ideas of the subject;
  • second tier – medium (4-6 points). The pupil can repeat the basic studied material, is able to complete tasks following a model, and has elementary learning skills;
  • third tier — sufficient (7-9 points). The pupil knows the essential features of notions, phenomena, and relations among them, is able to explain basic regularities and applies the acquired knowledge independently in standard situations, and has developed such mental capacities as analysis, abstraction, and generalization. The pupil’s answer is correct, logical, and well-reasoned, although the pupil is lacking in his/her own judgments;
  • fourth tier – high (10-12 points). The pupil has profound, strong, and systemic knowledge; the pupil is capable of applying it to creative tasks, his/her academic activities are marked with the ability to independently evaluate various situations, phenomena, and facts, formulate and defend his/her own position.

Each consecutive tier of requirements includes the requirements of the previous one and adds new ones.

If the academic achievements of a pupil fail to meet any of the said assessment tiers, the mark of “failed” is given in this case.

When measuring the academic achievements of pupils, the following aspects are taken into consideration:

  • evaluation of his/her answer: correct, logical, substantiated, integrative;
  • knowledge quality;
  • development of general and subject-specific abilities and skills;
  • command of such mental operations as analysis, synthesis, comparison, classification, generalization, conclusion, etc.;
  • ability to identify problems and resolve them, ability to formulate hypotheses; and
  • independence of evaluative judgments.

On the consent of local education authorities, educational institutions may use other academic achievement assessment systems in their practice. However, the marks awarded upon the results of a semester, year, and the state final examination have to be converted into points. Senior schools hold examinations in three subjects:

  • Ukrainian language (the retelling is compulsory);
  • History of Ukraine (compulsory for pupils of the universal study profile) or major subject (for pupils studying in specialization classes);
  • Any subject from the invariable at the pupil’s choice.

After finishing their schooling for a complete general secondary education, graduates are subjected to an external independent knowledge assessment in the form or a written test in one or several optional subjects required for enrollment in an institution of higher learning. The results of the external independent knowledge assessment are regarded as results of the entrance examinations of the institution of higher learning. The external independent knowledge assessment is administered by the Ukrainian Knowledge Quality Assessment Center in cooperation with local education authorities, oblast institutions of post-graduate pedagogical studies, and educational institutions. In the competition for enrollment in an institution of higher learning, the average score of the certificate of complete general secondary education is also taken into account.

The development chronology of the knowledge assessment system in Ukraine is as follows:

In 1935, five verbal marks are introduced in Soviet schools: “very bad,” “bad,” “acceptable” “good,” and “very good.”
Starting from 1945, academic achievements of pupils in Soviet Ukraine are measured on a 5-point scale — "5", "4", "3", "2", and "1".
In 1993, the knowledge assessment scale was reduced to four points — "5", "4", "З", and "2."
Since 2000, schools in Ukraine have been using a 12-point knowledge assessment scale.

knowledge assessment scale Marks
4-point 2- 2 2+ 3- 3 3+ 4- 4 4+ 5- 5 5+
12-point 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12