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What is School based Assessment (SBA) in CAPS?

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What is school Based Assessment?

You need to know



School-Based Assessment with CAPS assessment is a continuous planned process of identifying, gathering, and interpreting information about the performance of learners, using various forms of evaluation.

Basically, to get marks for learners during the term and not all in one or two days. 

Assessment should be both

* Informal (Assessment for Learning) and

* Formal (Assessment of Learning).

In both cases, regular feedback should be provided to learners to enhance their learning experience.

Formal Assessment

All assessment tasks that make up an official programme of assessment for the year will be counting towards Formal Assessment marks. Formal assessment tasks are marked and recorded by the teacher for progression purposes.

All Formal Assessment tasks are subject to moderation for quality assurance and to ensure that appropriate standards are maintained.

Formal assessment use memoranda, rubrics, checklists and rating scales as well as other appropriate assessment tools to observe, assess and record learners’ levels of understanding. 

Teachers will choose an assessment tool that is most appropriate for the type of activity.

For example,

  • a rubric is more suitable than a memorandum for a creative writing piece
  • a memo is better suited to a spelling test or a reading comprehension activity.

Informal or daily assessments

Assessment for learning has the purpose of continuously collecting information on a learner’s achievement, which should assist in improving their knowledge.

Informal assessment is daily monitoring of learners’ progress through observations, discussions, practical demonstrations, learner–teacher conferences, everyday classroom interactions, etc.

Informal assessment may be as simple as stopping during the lesson to observe learners.

Informal assessment should be used to provide feedback to the learners. To inform planning for teaching, but need not be recorded (it may be used if a teacher sees fit or essential). It should not be seen as separate from learning activities taking place in the classroom. Teachers may use many of your learning activities to assess learners’ performance informally.

Self assessment and peer assessment actively involves learners in assessment.

Self Assessment is vital as it allows learners to learn from and reflect on their performance.

The results of the informal daily assessment tasks will not be recorded formally unless a teacher sees it fit. 

Teachers may, however, keep their informal records of how individual learners are progressing — ensuring that individual learners develop the required skills and understanding.

June Exams and memos

In other words 

All subjects are different and asking teachers to clear if for you, will assist you as a parent and guide your child as well. We suggest teachers plan for a term or better yet the year. Keep ATP’s in mind and give marks accordingly to CAPS Documents, but not limited to CAPS due to each teacher’s informal assessment can also count.

What parents should look out for, or always ask teachers:

  1. Ask a list of what will be formal or informal tasks.
  2. All tests (formal tests) will be part of your child’s progress report at the end of the term.
  3. Explain to your child there is a difference with classwork, and they can make mistakes because if they make mistakes, they learn from it and can improve.
  4. Ask teachers what should be studied for tests or exams. – Some subject teachers will not be able to give this due to department question papers on our site. The way in which the questions are asked, are always the same in each and every departmentally exam or test.
  5. Make a time table to study for tests and exams or other formal activities.
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Why no standardised CAPS tests/exams​ in 3rd Term

Why no standardised CAPS tests : exams in 3rd Term

Why no standardised CAPS tests/exams​ in 3rd Term

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We get this question a lot.

Why don’t we have exams or tests for the 3rd term (September month)?

We do have a simple answer, but before we give you this answer you need to understand what is SBA first.

SBA – School Based Assessment
Schools across South Africa (private or public) needs to follow CAPS.  CAPS has different rules for each term and grade. For example:

Gr. 1 – 3
100% SBA.

Gr. 4 – 6
25% Test / Exam and 75% SBA.

Gr. 7 – 9
40% Test / Exam and 60% SBA.

Gr. 10 – 12
75% Test / Exam and 25% SBA.

(Gr. 12 however does have Trial Exams – September exams set by the Department only and may be different from province to province)

CAPS tests

Each grade and subject has different weights for each area or topic.

Teachers should give marks accordingly to CAPS Documents as outlined in each grade and subject. Best Education has both Afrikaans and English versions for each subject available.  You will find the information at the back of each Policy Document.

In term 1, 2 and four, all school must write standardised tests/exams. – available on Best Education.

The difference with Term 3 is there are no guidelines on what can or should be tested. It is the only term a teacher/educator will set tests (not exams) for learners.  The only thing teachers may ask is what they have done in classwork or languages and Maths it will be all work covered as it is broad. We suggest you work with ANA papers, all previous terms language and Maths papers.

In simple terms, all papers will be different except if you get a teacher who copied a previous exam.  Mostly all from past exam papers from Best Education.

There you go, now you know why we don’t have September tests.