Assessment is an integral part of the learning cycle and is necessary to determine where students are currently at, how to move them to the next level of understanding and to make judgements about whether or not learning has occurred. Assessment becomes formative assessment when the teacher uses it to modify the teaching or learning that occurs next.
China’s science education has been undergoing a new round of curriculum and assessment reform from the beginning of this century. Realizing that the conventional curriculum attaches too much importance to knowledge teaching and book learning, the new curriculum standards have paid particular attention to quality education, which includes intellectual, affective, ethical, and physical development of all students. All science curriculum standards are developed under the framework of three dimensions – knowledge and skills, process and methods, and attitudes and values. The new curriculum emphasizes more on teaching the nature of science and its importance to enhancing scientific literacy.