Before identifying what a quality assessment is, one must understand what assessment means. To assess you must identify the purpose of the assessment, explain its targets, knowing the aim for the assessment is crucial as this determines what the assessment looks like, how it is administered and marked, and how the outcome will be used. Scherer indicates that there is an over emphasis on test scores, and that multiple measures need to be used to achieve quality assessment. McMillan supports this and states that assessment 'is much more than simply testing'.
The following five key concepts represent quality assessment.
The First key Idea, is that quality assessments must serve a purpose. Teachers need to be able to clarify the purpose of gathering the information. Standardised tests have a place in the curriculum, but they often lack purpose for the individual, that is why there are other 'purposes' for assessments such as diagnosing strengths vs weaknesses, monitoring progress and motivation.