Assess vs Evaluate verbs (1 Viewer)


New Member
Mar 2, 2022
I've been working on extended response questions for humanities (i.e. Legal, Ecos, Business etc etc) and whenever approaching the verbs assess and evaluate I get conflicting ways on how to 'tackle' the verb and was wondering if there is any definitive explanation on how to address these verbs. Only asking because the explanations I've receieved are so similar it's difficult to differentiate them from the other.



Le Phénix Trilingue
Aug 22, 2019
Krak des Chevaliers
Uni Grad
I will try to answer from a Business Studies perspective. First, let us examine both key words as defined by NESA:
  • Assess: Make a judgement of value, quality, outcomes, results or size.
  • Evaluate: Make a judgement based on criteria; determine the value of.
Notice that questions beginning with either term require students to make a judgement. The "value, quality, outcomes, results or size" and the "based on criteria" elements are therefore interchangeable, i.e. because questions starting with either term will require you to make a judgement concerning one or more concepts within the Business Studies HSC course.

This is evident when considering specific questions from past Business Studies HSC exam papers. In the case of Section IV questions, examples include the use of "evaluate" in Question 26 and Question 27 from the 2020 paper as well as the use of "assess" in Question 27 from the 2014 paper.

Such examples extend beyond Section IV questions. For instance, there are Section II questions, including Question 23(c) from the 2019 paper as well as Question 21(c) from the 2017 paper, both using "assess".

Confirming that those key words are indeed interchangeable would require us to examine the marking criteria for such questions. Here, one can clearly observe the following:
  • Question 26 (2020 HSC): Makes a judgement about the financial management strategies used to achieve profit and growth objectives.
  • Question 27 (2020 HSC): Makes a judgement about the human resource strategies used to achieve three indicators of effective human resource management.
  • Question 27 (2014 HSC): Makes a judgement on the importance of a mix of promotional strategies in the marketing of goods and services.
  • Question 23(c) (2019 HSC): Makes a clear judgement on the impact of ONE social influence on human resource management.
  • Question 21(c) (2017 HSC): Makes a clear judgement of ONE operations strategy that may improve the long-term success of the business.
I hope this helps! :D

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