The Importance of Self-Assessment in Education

In the following article, we'll talk about the importance of self-assessment in education, as it's a way to help students reflect upon their learning processes.
The Importance of Self-Assessment in Education

Last update: 24 July, 2020

Through self-assessment in education, students can become aware of their learning processes. When educators encourage self-assessment from a young age and continue to do so at every level of education, it allows students to reflect upon changes and progress. In the same way, they can reflect upon their mistakes and learning needs.

What is self-assessment?

According to Cabero and Gisbert (2002), self-assessment or self-evaluation consists of  “a set of self-corrective activities that allow for the verification of the type and level of learning in regard to the objectives of the formative action.”

In other words, self-assessment allows students to evaluate their performance of an activity or task. In the same way, it allows them to evaluate the learning of knowledge or the acquisition of abilities, capacities, or attitudes.

Therefore, self-assessment is very useful for students because it’s a planning tool for their learning process in order to improve their academic performance. Through self-assessment, students are more aware of the advances and difficulties in their academic processes, assuming the aspects that they should improve.

The Importance of Self-Assessment in Education

At the same time, self-evaluation by students is a very useful strategy for teachers as well. That’s because it allows for educators to understand the depths of their students’ learning rhythms. And, depending on the particularities of the learning of their students, teachers can adjust pedagogical-didactic strategies and teaching resources to better meet their needs.

Characteristics of self-assessment

  • Self-assessment is a continuous process that involves reflection, self-awareness, and self-criticism.
  • It’s necessary both for students as well as educators.
  • Self-assessment is a tool and strategy that can help both in the understanding of processes as well as the measuring of results.
  • It reveals whether or not reestablished objectives have been met.
  • It also helps reveal how cognitive development and the acquisition of new knowledge are advancing.
  • Self-evaluation allows for reflection upon acquired and applied attitudes and behaviors.
  • It’s also a useful tool when it comes to analyzing learning and the application of concrete skills and capacities. And, in the same way, it’s helpful when it comes to analyzing their coherence in different contexts.
  • What’s more, it helps reveal and distinguish between students’ different learning rhythms, progresses, difficulties, and needs.
  • Self-assessment serves as a motivational factor. It promotes autonomy and a sense of responsibility among students.
  • It promotes thinking and rethinking about one’s own actions and attitudes.

Importance of self-assessment in education: Constant improvement

We must understand that self-assessment on an academic level is led by the institution and its educators. However, students are the main protagonists in this process. It’s students themselves that must assume responsibility and commit to knowing and verifying what knowledge they have acquired, what competencies they’re developing correctly.

In the same way, they need to be aware of the knowledge and competencies they aren’t acquiring or developing properly and reflect upon the reasons why.

The Importance of Self-Assessment in Education

Establishing certain self-assessment processes within academic planning is extremely important. It’s a way to get students to improve in a conscious and motivated way. This isn’t true only in regard to academic content, but also in regard to conceptual, procedural, and attitudinal content.

Self-evaluation, as we’ve said, allows student to reflect upon themselves and their social and cognitive learning processes. But, at the same time, it’s also a valuable tool in other environments as well, outside the academic realm. For example, in the workplace, and in everyday life.

Therefore, the importance of self-assessment in education is that it gives students a strategy for constant improvement. In other words, through self-assessment, they learn to be more and more self-aware and critical. And, in turn, this makes it possible for them to constantly improve not only as students, but also as people.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • García, A. M. D., y Cuello, R. O. (2009). Interacción entre la evaluación continua y la autoevaluación formativa: La potenciación del aprendizaje autónomo. REDU. Revista de Docencia Universitaria, 7(4), pp. 1-16. Recuperado de
  • Núñez, F. C., y  Urquijo, A. Q. (2012). Importancia de la evaluación y autoevaluación en el rendimiento académico. Zona próxima: revista del Instituto de Estudios Superiores en Educación, (16), pp. 96-104. Recuperado de
  • Cabero, J., y Gisbert, M. (2002). La evaluación, Materiales formativos multimedia en la red. Guía práctica para su diseño. Sevilla: SAV.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.