Setting up a Summative Assessment

Use Arbor’s Summative Tracking to record assessment results at key points throughout the year to measure student's overall knowledge and progress. This article will show you how to set up these summative assessments.

Step 1 - Make sure your grade set is available

First, you'll need to make sure the grade set you want to use exists, or you'll first need to set it up.

Go to Students > Assessments > Assessment framework > Grade Sets and select a grade point scale. In this example, I am setting up a Maths KS4 summative assessment.

If you don't see the Grade Scale you want to use, you'll need to set one up. See how to do this here: Grade Point Scales and Marking Grade Sets


Step 2 - Add the assessment to your Assessment Framework

An Assessment Framework includes all the supporting information that makes up an assessment, such as the grades that are used or the name of the assessment. You can also manage grade point scales and grade sets, assessments that can be added to the Assessment Policy and the marksheet settings such as which columns should be shown.

Go to Students > Assessments > Assessment Framework > Assessment Catalogue.

Click Create new assessment



From the Create New Assessment page, select summative assessment.



In step 1, define the name, subject and Key Stage of your assessment. Decide whether you want to collect only one mark, or if you want to use strands for a SUM or AVERAGE calculation within your assessment - if so tick the Use a calculation method? box and you'll be able to select the calculation method later.



In step 2, choose the grade set of your assessment. Choose the Grade point scale from the drop-down menu, then select the Grade Set from the list then click Next.



In step 3, choose which calculation method to use. Select SUM to add up your stand marks to a total, or Average to calculate an overall average grade.

If you did not choose to use a calculation method as part of the previous step, you will not need to complete this part and will instead be taken to the final step to confirm your setup. 



In step 4, you'll need to define your strands. For a SUM calculation method, add your strands and the maximum value for each.



For an Average calculation method, click +Add to add strands and define their weighting.



Tick the box to set each of the strands with equal weighting if needed. This is particularly useful for strands that are, for example, each worth a third.

  • You must name each of your strands, but creating a short name for your strands is optional.
  • The combined total weighting of your strands must total 100%.
  • The minimum weight of a stand is 5%.
  • You cannot manually enter an equal weight for an odd number of strands that results in a split that relies on recurring decimal places, e.g 33.33% for each strand. You must use the equal weight feature for these scenarios.

Once happy with your strands, click Save changes.



Please note: If decide you no longer want to use strands in this assessment at this point in the process, clicking the bin icon on all the strands and clicking Save will not be effective. Instead, please use the Back buttons to navigate back to step 1 and untick the calculation method box.



The final step is then to review your settings. Once happy, click Complete setup.



You have now created the Assessment! The next step is to add the assessment to your Annual Policy for the school year.


Step 3 - Check your Assessable Courses

Go to Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Assessable Courses.

Check the correct course that the summative assessment is a component of has been set up to be assessed this academic year. You can edit this list by clicking the green Bulk Set Assessable Course Button, and ticking or unticking the courses. This determines what assessments appear on the Manage Assessments page.


Step 4 - Check your assessment periods

An assessment period is a set of dates that are used to define the frequency at which an assessment will take place. Within Arbor, there are four default assessment periods you can choose when setting up an assessment: monthly, half-termly, termly or annual basis.

Check you can select the right assessment period frequency from to Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Assessment Periods. The default assessment periods (monthly, termly, annual or half-termly) will only appear here if an assessment is using them (Custom ones will always appear).

In some cases, your assessment may not fit into the default assessment periods that are available. You can create your own custom assessment to assess a subject as frequently as you need. If you need to add a new assessment period click +Add.



Click +Add and update the slide over with the name, all your assessment periods and the dates of the assessments, then click Create Periods. You'll then be able to select these custom assessment periods when adding your assessment to your Annual Policy (shown in the next step).



To edit the assessment period names or dates, or delete the Assessment Periods, click the assessment periods. Please note, you can only delete an assessment period if no assessments are currently using it.


Step 5 - Add the assessment to your Annual Policy

Once you have defined your Assessment Framework, you will be able to create your Annual Policy for the academic year. The Annual Policy includes all aspects of assessments that are specific to an academic year, such as which assessments students are taking and Data Collection dates.

Go to Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Manage Assessments to complete all set up of your assessments for the academic year.



To add new assessments to your policy, click the Add assessment to policy button. You can then select an Assessment type, and select which assessments to add to your policy. Then click Next.


On the next page, select the groups of students you would like to include in the assessment, how often the assessment will be taken, and add any courses to be linked. Then click Add assessment(s).



Once assessments have been added to your policy, you can click an assessment on the Annual Policy > Manage Assessments page to see and edit the information about an Assessment.




What's next?

Once you have set up your assessment, the next step is to input targets. For the marksheets to be colour-coded, you will need to have input a mark for the assessment period, and the Year Target, shown here: Adding and locking Targets

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  • we have set up custom ad-hocs to work alongside summative assessments to collect data about how A level students are working after a 4 week period. The problem is I cannot have a marksheet showing both a) the correct list of students for the class. To solve it, I tried changing the dates but this kicks out the ad-hocs that were added at a later stage.

  • Hi Mark, thanks for commenting! We'd need to take a look at this one for you. Please email us at and we'll work with you to find the solution.

  • I can tell you now - you cant have two custom assessment periods overlapping - annoying as a secondary school we have multiply assessment periods on at any one time.


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