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Assessment in primary education


5.Primary education

5.3Assessment in primary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Pupil assessment

Current trends of pupil assessment and achievement are set out in the General Curriculum for Primary Education (Pradinio ugdymo bendroji programa).

These documents emphasise that assessment is considered to help pupils to learn, grow and mature successfully. Assessment is a tool for collecting and making use of information about the pupils’ learning experience, achievements and progress. On the grounds of assessment results, the requirements for learning can be planned and the education process individualised. Assessment also helps to measure the level of success achieved by individual teachers and schools and to make reasonable judgements. While achieving better learning outcomes, it is most important to sustain the pupils’ psychological safety. It is important to create, a favourable climate for the child in the classroom, where pupils are not afraid to ask questions. Pupils should not be afraid to make mistakes and differ in opinion from their peers.

In preparing its curriculum, each school stipulates the methods and requirements for assessing pupils’ learning achievements and progress. The teachers plan their pupils’ learning achievements and their assessment in line with agreements reached by the school. This should also take into account the learning achievements, needs and capabilities of their pupils. When planning the learning achievements and assessments for pupils in grade 1, the teachers familiarise themselves with the recommendations of pre-primary teachers or those of the joint group of pre-school teachers to come to a conclusion about the child’s performance.

In general primary, lower secondary and upper secondary curricula, there are four established achievement levels – threshold, satisfactory, basic and advanced. In primary education, comments, and evaluation folders are used to record and provide evaluation information. Teachers help pupils make their own evaluation folders, and in doing so, pupils learn self-evaluation. However, at this level, pupils achievements are not expressed in scores, nor are their achievements compared publicly.

The progress of a particular pupil is monitored and assessed, comparing current and previous achievements. Should parents/guardians request it, the pupil’s position among their peers can be indicated, but only confidentially. It is emphasised that parents/guardians should be more concerned that their child reaches their full potential rather than being concerned where they are ranked.

In assessing pupils’ achievements, it is necessary to gather evidence. At the end of a planned learning stage, that evidence is summarised in writing. Teachers gather evidence in line with agreements reached by the school and discussed with pupils.

Types of assessment

In the implementation of the general primary, lower secondary and upper secondary curricula, three types of assessment are used:

  • formative evaluation
  • self-evaluation
  • summative evaluation

Formative evaluation

Formative educational assessment is used to help pupils learn by planning (self-) learning goals, directions, specific steps and learning perspectives. A formative educational assessment is provided throughout the learning process, even outside the classroom, by observing pupils’ behaviour, interaction, cooperation, etc.

Various strategies for formative educational assessment are implemented – observation, interview, discussion, task analysis, consideration, etc.

Formative assessment is not linked to scores, it provides data, based on which a teacher provides quality feedback to a pupil about further learning steps. Information is provided for the pupils, mostly verbally, and where necessary, in writing. In that case, a teacher can write a comment in an exercise book, on test-paper sheets, in an achievement booklet and so on. Information is provided about each pupil’s learning process and current achievements or failures and what they can do to improve their performance.


The purpose of self-evaluation is to develop a pupil’s self-observation of the learning process, achievements and progress, and evaluation and reflection on further learning steps

Generalised evaluation

A generalised summative assessment can be used on completion of a short or longer education period (project, trimester, semester, year, etc.), and on completion of the primary education curriculum.

This is a general summary of a pupil’s achievements during an education period. It assesses the progress made during the education period established by the school. The teacher takes into account indications of the pupil’s achievement against levels defined in the Curriculum for Primary Education. The results are entered into a Primary Education Diary, an electronic diary or any other achievement assessment form chosen by the school and/or teacher, such as, the pupil’s learning achievements and progress assessment records, assessment files, achievement booklets, etc.

The pupil’s summative achievement level – satisfactory, basic, advanced – is recorded in the relevant sections of the summary statement on the pupil’s learning achievements. In the event that a pupil fails to reach a satisfactory level of achievement, the entry ‘unsatisfactory’ is recorded. Moral education is assessed as ‘progress made’ or ‘progress not made’. The same categories are applied when assessing the progress of pupils with special educational needs.

On completion of primary education, a Record of Achievements and Progress in the Primary Education Curriculum is prepared. A copy of the record is passed on to the school where the pupil will be attending the lower secondary education programme.

National pupils’ achievement testing

The National Pupils’ Achievement Testing (NMPP) system came into effect in 2014. Lithuanian pupils are assessed using standardised tests according to the standard criteria. Based on this information, decisions are made on how to improve (self-) learning at the different levels (pupils, teachers, classes, schools, municipalities and national). Each year NMPP’s for 4th grade reading and maths are organised.

The institution that holds founder status decides whether the pupils should participate in the NMPP. The founder can transfer decision-making power to the school authority. If a school decides to participate in the NMPP, all its pupils must participate.

Municipalities and schools aiming for a wider assessment of learning quality can decide to employ pupils’ questionnaires along with the NMPP. Based on the data gathered, the school (municipality) receives ratings on things like the school’s climate, teasing and bullying, pupils’ well-being in the school, pupils’ knowledge of how to learn, and the schools’ added value. This allows the school to self-assess in a broader way. It helps to pay more attention not only to the academic achievements of pupils but also to pupils’ well-being and the emotional climate. A school can assess its contribution to pupils’ achievements, taking into account its context. Schools must inform parents/guardians about such a review, obtaining permission for their child’s participation, which they are entitled to withhold. In such a case, it is more difficult for the school (municipality) to measure such important ratings as the schools’ added value, pupils’ well-being in school and the status regarding bullying.

Is it important to mention that the NMPP results also provide information for the pupil, their parents/guardians and the teacher. It is not a conclusion on a pupil’s educational achievements. That is why the National Agency for Education recommends not to grade tests. The NMPP results have no influence on pupils’ progression to another grade or school. From 1 September 2024, primary education participation in the NMPP will be mandatory.

Contributors to the assessment process

The teacher, education provider, school founder, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and its authorised institutions assess learning achievements.

Teachers plan, assess, summarise and evaluate pupils’ progress and achievements. They record assessment information in a way defined by the school. They inform pupils, their parents/guardians, other teachers and the heads of the school about pupils’ learning, achievements and the gaps. They analyse and revise pupils’ (self-) learning. They aim to ensure that pupils with learning difficulties receive the aid they need.

The school sets out methods for the gathering, recording and use of information on pupils’ progress and achievement assessments. It guarantees that assessment methods are compatible with progressing between grades and education levels, also between classes and different subjects. The school also coordinates the scope and frequency of tests. It provides assistance to pupils experiencing learning difficulties. And, last but not least, it evaluates the quality of work performed by individual teachers and the school based on what pupils achieve.

The education department of the school founder administration analyses the school assessment information and makes decisions based on it. In assessing the school’s work effectiveness, it takes into account the social and cultural context. It guarantees that external methods for assessing pupils’ achievements are discussed with the school and with the teachers. It also enables teachers to improve their qualifications.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport issues legal requirements that regulate the content of the formal education curriculum and assessment of pupils’ achievements. It sets out the methods for assessing pupils’ achievements when they finish certain stages of the education curriculum. It guarantees fast and high-quality analysis of the external pupils’ achievement assessment results, their presentation to the academic and general public and its proper use.

Progression of pupils

The procedure for the Consecutive Learning in Accordance with General Education Programmes (Nuosekliojo mokymosi pagal bendrojo ugdymo programas tvarkos aprašas) defines the methods for pupils’ progression.

Pupils with a satisfactory end-of-year assessment in all compulsory subjects in the teaching plan progress to the next year.

A pupil can display higher achievements than the advanced achievements set out in the general curriculum. If a school has evidence of such achievements by pupils in grades 1-3, they can progress to a higher grade. In doing so, they skip a grade and graduate more quickly. Parents/guardians have to express their consent for a pupil to progress in this way. The pupil’s teacher and school child welfare commission also have to agree on such a progression.

Teachers and other authorities in the educational process discuss pupils who have unsatisfactory annual assessments in some curriculum subjects (and extra assignments, if such were given). The teachers decide whether these pupils should progress to another year, repeat the year, or be given extra assignments. When a pupil receives extra assignments, they also receive counselling. When the assignments’ due date and report dates are set, the parents/guardians’ advice is taken into account.

Teachers will repeatedly discuss a pupil’s learning achievements, if their assignment gets a negative assessment or if they miss the due date. They will discuss this with the parents/guardians and provide their suggestions to the school principal.

The school principal will reach a final decision on a pupil’s extra assignments and their progression or the repetition of the year, while taking into account the teachers’ suggestions. The school informs the parents/guardians of these decisions.

If a pupil in grade 4 has a negative annual assessment in a subject for additional work given to them, on completion of the primary education curriculum, they will remain in the same class to repeat the curriculum.

On completion of the primary education curriculum a pupil with satisfactory annual assessments in all curriculum subjects will be able to progress to another year. A pupil is considered as having finished the corresponding curriculum and earned the right to learn according to the lower secondary curriculum. On completion of the primary education curriculum, a statement to assess the pupil’s progress and achievements on completion of the primary education curriculum is prepared. It is sent to the school in which the pupil will continue their education according to the lower secondary education curriculum.


Final-year primary school pupils who have received satisfactory annual assessments in all compulsory subjects are considered to have completed the primary education curriculum and acquired a primary education. An acquired primary education grants the right to continue learning according to the lower secondary education curriculum.

On completion of the primary education curriculum, a pupil is issued with a Certificate of primary education. This certificate does not specify the curriculum subjects or achievement levels but indicates which primary education curriculum the pupil has completed.

A Primary Education Achievements Certificate is issued to a pupil who has completed an individualized primary education curriculum.

Pupils in their final year of primary education who leave primary school at the end of the school year without having completed the curriculum are issued a free-form certificate.