Contrasting models of assessment A familiar scene almost anywhere in the United States today: several hundred students file into a large examination hall. They sit nervously, waiting for sealed packets to be handed out. At the appointed hour, booklets are distributed, brief instructions are issued, and formal testing begins. The hall is still as students at each desk bear down on number two pencils and fill in the bubbles which punctuate the answer sheets. A few hours later, the testing ends and the booklets are collected; some time later a sheet bearing a set of scores arrives at each student’s home and at the colleges to which the students have directed their scores. The results of a morning’s testing become a powerful factor in decisions about the future of each student.