How to Assess Your Child's Achievement Level

Many parents ask us about how they can effectively assess their child's achievement level. It can be a challenge to interpret the varied messages that parents receive, such as those from their child, the child's teacher and other parents. The key is to properly balance the available information and know when more is needed.

Find available tutors

achievement levels academic assessments learning evaluations

Collect the Evidence

The first step in assessing your child's achievement level is to collect the objective evidence you have available. This includes progress reports and any item that earns a grade, such as tests, quizzes, papers, projects and homework assignments. This step, by itself, won't fully tell you how your child is doing. It's difficult to know what you have and what you don't have, as though you're assembling a puzzle with an unknown number of pieces.

This step is primarily about establishing a factual base of understanding. As you make progress with your evaluation, you'll refer back to this data set. In addition to looking over the grades these items offer, look also for comments that help you understand the perspective of your child's teacher; these may help you identify patterns or anomalies.

Compare Apples to Apples

When you're trying to determine whether your child is advanced, in the middle or behind, it's essential that you avoid unfair comparisons. It's easy to fall into the trap of comparing your child to his or her peers through conversations with other parents. This can be unfair to your child and misleading for you.

You should assess your child in relation to your child's own education goals. These goals should be based on what is realistic for your child to achieve. For example, a child who has consistently been a below average student shouldn't expect to transform into an honor roll student in a few months. As you begin to gain perspective on how your child is performing, set short-term and long-term goals together and mark progress against past results.

Contact the Teacher

Whenever you have questions about your child's achievement level, you should seek out your child's teacher for guidance. The teacher will have the most complete picture of your child's performance. The teacher should be able to fill in any gaps in what you've been able to assess. Also, the teacher's evaluation typically has significant weight in determining what will come next for your child, whether the future might hold honors or remedial classes.

When contacting the teacher, consider beforehand the teacher's ability to respond to your questions. You'll get the best response if you adhere to any structures the teacher may have put in place for parent dialogue, such as open office hours or scheduled meetings. For teachers with daunting student loads, it may be best to email your questions; this gives the teacher more time to give a thoughtful response to your inquiry.

Ask Your Child

Ultimately, assessing your child's performance should be a collaborative endeavor. In addition to asking your child about how he or she feels school is going, you can involve your child in other facets of your assessment. For example, your child's active involvement in a meeting with the teacher can help the teacher see how committed and engaged your child is to his or her education. Whether you're trying to understand it, or hoping for improvements, your child's achievement is determined by your child.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Should IT Matter How Your Child's Teacher Dresses?

    Dress codes have long been a staple in many schools across the country. In some cases, students and even parents have opposed them. But what about dress codes for teachers? When it comes to this issue, just where do most people stand? And should a teacher's clothing even be of concern to parents?

  • More Blog Articles
    How Can You Know if College Is Right for Your Child?

    A prevailing school of thought is that most people need college in order to be successful. But this certainly may not always be the case. Quite simply, not everyone is college material. If your teen will soon be graduating from high school, you may need to contemplate whether college is right for your child.

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth