How To Assess a Student’s Proficiency to Properly Assign Lessons

The new school year is starting, and things are ramping up. The popularity of coding courses is ever-rising. Thanks to this, more new students are likely to enroll in your classes and camps. During this time, an influx of newer students is expected.

One issue you may run into with new students is determining their coding proficiency level. You’ll inevitably have some students who are complete beginners, some who have prior knowledge, and some who will be more advanced. It is important to know how much your new enrollees know and understand. This is because you’ll want to assign them lessons based on their proficiency level.

Today, we’ll discuss how to assess a student’s proficiency. And how to use that information to better assign them lessons.

Why Assigning The Right Lessons is Important

Figuring out a student’s level of knowledge and assigning them the right lessons is crucial to their learning success. You don’t want to give someone with intermediate knowledge lessons for beginners. Giving a beginner an advanced lesson would also cause problems. Failing to assign appropriate lessons could result in a student either getting bored or having too difficult a time grasping the lesson. Starting them out where they belong will greatly improve the quality of their education, and keep them interested longer.

person writing on white paper

Ways To Assess a Student’s Level

Below are some ideas on how you can accurately assess students’ level of knowledge. For best results, you can use a combination of methods.


The age of a student can give you a rough guess of how proficient a student may be. It will also give you an idea of how well a student will absorb and understand more complex coding languages. Younger students may benefit from more game-oriented lessons like Roblox, Minecraft, or Scratch. since these tend to hold their attention better. Older students may want a different approach and might be more comfortable with more advanced lessons that move away from game-based learning and include C#, C++, Python, or JavaScript.

Age won’t tell you everything, however, since there are even older students who are complete beginners. We’d recommend factoring in students’ age when applying the below methods for a better whole picture of their proficiency level.

Interview Your Students

One of the simplest ways to assess students’ proficiency is to simply ask them. Set up an interview with the student and/or parents and go over whether the student has had prior coding experience. If they answer yes, ask what language(s) they’ve had experience in and what their previous curriculum was like.


Another way is to have your students do self-assessments. A self-assessment is where students talk about their prior knowledge and experience. A self-assessment form can take the shape of a survey or questionnaire, or can be setup up online through Google Forms. These forms can also be given out to be filled out as an enrollment requirement.

Short Quiz

You can also give new students a short quiz to see how well they do. The contents of the quiz should range from beginner questions up to more advanced topics, split between their own categories. How well each student does for each category will help you assign appropriate lessons. This may take time to build since the contents of the quiz will depend on the lessons you offer. However, it’s one of the best ways to accurately determine a student’s knowledge.

Ask for a Sample

For more experienced students, you can ask them to complete a coding activity or project in a language they are familiar with. This will give them a chance to show off their knowledge and will give you a good idea of what level of skills they possess.

lines of HTML codes

Determining The Right Lessons

Now that you’ve gathered information about your students’ proficiency, you can now use this info to better assign lessons. Depending on which methods you use, you should have a good idea of where in the curriculum your student will fit. If you’re still a little unsure of where to place a student, remember it’s always better to place them a little below their level than if you were to put them into a lesson that’s too advanced.

It would also be a good idea to monitor student performance should any issues arise. Make sure to take note of their feedback and how well they’re progressing through a lesson. This way you can make sure your students are getting the best experience possible.

Questions and Contact

If you’d like to know more about us and what we offer, or have more in-depth questions or feedback about this blog post, feel free to contact us at or 425-665-7799 and we’ll be happy to get back to you.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog post!

Dmitry Litvinov
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