Teachers who have switched the emphasis away from marking and grading to give comments and feedback are finding that their pupils try much harder. Public exams like GCSEs and A-levels give pupils a final grade, known as summative assessment.
Recent research, however, has focused more on formative assessment which happens every day, not just in a single ritual. Formative assessment can range from a smile or a raised eyebrow to detailed feedback about how and what a child is learning. It's extremely effective in raising pupil's eventual achievement in tests and exams as well as capturing their interest and commitment.