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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Assessment in single-structure education


5.Single-structure primary and lower secondary education

5.3Assessment in single-structure education

Last update: 21 March 2024

Pupil assessment

The current approach to pupil assessment in subjects is based on the objective of both promoting learning and expressing the competence of each pupil continuously during the education and at the end of the teaching in the subject (cf. chapter 3 of the regulationto the Education Act). 

The pupils’ right to assessment means both a right to continuous (formative) assessment, a right to final assessment and a right to a documentation of the education. 

Pursuant to the regulation of the Education Act Chapter 3, pupils shall be assessed both continuous and final in the school subjects and in order and conduct. 

The main purpose of pupils’ assessment in order and conduct is promoting social learning and a safe and good school environment and information about order and conduct. The basis for the assessment in order and conduct is the school rules, cf. The Education Act § 9A-10. Starting in grade 8 separate marks for order and conduct are reported in a three-point scale. The pupils must be familiar with the school rules. The pupils’ competence in subjects is not a part of the basis for assessment, but the pupils’ prerequisites must be taken into account in the assessment. 

The main purpose of pupils’ assessment in subjects is to continuously promote learning and the desire to learn, and to provide continuous information about pupils´ competencies in the subjects and at the end of the teaching in the subjects. 

The competence targets in the subject curriculum are the basis for assessment. The pupils’ prerequisites in the subjects, absence from subjects, or their marks in order or conduct are not to be used as basis for assessment in subjects. The pupils’ work ethic is only assessed if it is part of the subject curriculum. 

At the lower secondary stage (grades 8–10), a numerical marking system on a 6-to-1 scale is introduced (for assessment in subjects), 6 being the top mark and 1 the lowest. Decimal points are not used. The Regulation to the Education Act states that pupils shall be given marks as part of continuous assessment as an end-of-term assessment from grade 8, and as final assessment. The individual municipalities and schools decide upon other use of marks as part of continuous assessment.

Continuous (formative) assessment

All assessment done before the end of the teaching in the subject is called continuous assessment. Continuous assessment without marks is part of the day-to-day learning process.

Continuous assessment refers to both assessment of learning and assessment for learning and covers such areas as:

  • Continuous assessment in the classroom in form of continuous feedback to the pupil.
  • Follow-up of results from different types of tests, i.e. national tests and mapping tests.
  • End-of-term assessment: Pupils shall be given a written six-month evaluations for each subject and for order and conduct, i.e. twice during the school year. From year 8 the pupils also shall be given these assessments with marks.
  • Self-assessment: The pupils’ self-assessment is an important part of the continuous assessment. The regulations establish that the pupil shall participate actively in the assessment of his or her own work, own competence, and own academic development.

Assessment at the primary stage (grades 1–7) are only continuous and does not involve the awarding of marks. 

As part of continuous assessment there is a compulsory skills test in swimming for pupils at grade 1–4 as a part of the continuous assessment in the subjectPhysical Education. The purpose is to provide continuous information about the need to strengthen swimming training to ensure that the pupils are able to swim by the end of grade 4. The results are not made public.

There are compulsory mapping tests in reading for pupils at grade 3, and in numeracy for pupils at grade 3. In addition, there are voluntary mapping tests in reading skills and numeracy at grade 1. The purpose of the mapping tests is for teachers and schools to identify which pupils may need additional follow up and adaptation. These tests are answered digitally and a part of the Quality Assessment System (QAS). The results are not made public.

National tests in pupils’ basic skills are compulsory for pupils at grade 5 and grade 8 in reading, English, and Numeracy, and for pupils at grade 9 in reading and Numeracy (same test as for grade 8). The tests are part of the Quality Assessment System (QAS) (see chapter 11). Results from schools, municipalities and counties are made public at The main purpose of the national tests is to collect information about pupils’ basic skills and to be tools for improvement and development activities for schools and municipalities. . Results from national tests is also a tool for the teachers in continuous assessment in order to adapt the teaching to the individual pupil’s needs. National tests are answered digitally. 

Final assessment

Unlike continuous assessment, final assessment is often described as summative assessment or assessment of learning. However, the purpose of final assessment is to provide information about the pupil’s competence in the subject at the end of teaching in the subject. Final assessment comprises overall achievement assessment and the examination and is awarded at the end of compulsory education in lower secondary education. 

Overall achievement assessment is given as marks awarded for classwork in all ending subjects, starting at year 8. The marks are set by the subject teacher when teaching in the subject is completed. Overall achievement assessment and marks shall be based on a broad basis for assessment that as a whole shows the competence the pupil has achieved in the subject. The competence the pupils have achieved during the training (assessed continuously), is part of the assessment when the overall achievement mark is to be set. 

The pupils shall also receiveoverall achievement marks in order and conduct. These marks are also set by teachers.

Pupils shall show up and participate actively in the training. Large absences or other special reasons can make the teacher not have sufficient basis for assessment to give an end-of-term assessment with mark or a mark awarded for classwork as final assessment. 

At the end of grade 10, national examinations are conducted in selected subjects. Pupils are required to take a national written examination in one of three subjects: Norwegian/Sami, Matematics, or English. Every year it is decided locally which groups of pupils will take which of the three subjects. The students must be informed about the decision 48 hours before the exam. The national central written exams are answered digitally and marked externally by external examiners. These are teachers who have volunteered for the work.

The selected written exam is compulsory except for pupils with individual teaching programmes, for whom it is up to the parents to decide. Pupils in independent schools based on Rudolph Steiner's pedagogical principles are exempted from national central written exams.

At the end of grade 10, most pupils will also have to sit an oral examination, which is organised locally. The oral examination may be in any of the school subjects, except Arts and Crafts, Home Economics, and Physical Education. 

Progression of pupils

Pupils progress automatically to the next grade at the end of a school year throughout compulsory education. Pupils with learning difficulties may receive additional educational support.

After completing compulsory lower secondary education, all young people between the ages of 16 to 19 are entitled to three years of upper secondary education.


Upon leaving school, all pupils receive a certificate indicating subjects and final assessment comprising overall achievements marks in ending subjects and in order and conduct (from the last term in grade 10), examination marks. The overall achievement marks in subjects make up 80 percent of the marks of the certificate. The marks are used as one of the more important criteria for further education at the upper secondary level, i.e. when it comes to selecting a programme of study and being admitted into a chosen school.