Transition Assessment

For students with IEPs

Definition within student-focused planning: Age-appropriate transition assessment information is a) used to identify the student’s preferences, interests, choices, and needs; b) reflected in the summary of student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance; and c) used as a basis for the development of measureable postsecondary goals in the IEP.

Definition within student development: When a student has an IEP, age-appropriate transition assessment information (e.g., academic, cognitive, career/occupational, adaptive behavior) is routinely collected and used to inform student-focused planning.

Formal versus informal transition assessments

Formal transition assessments:

  • To learn about a wide variety of skill levels in various areas (e.g., vocational, academic, social)
  • Published tests: scores that compare students to others
  • A starting point
  • Types: learning style inventories, academic achievement tests, adaptive behavior scales,  aptitude tests, interest inventories

Informal transition assessments:

  • Observing the student in various academic and work experiences
  • Talking with the student about likes and dislikes
  • Setting up experiences to allow the student to try something that that may be of interest
  • Often teacher-made, often do not result in a score
  • The Transition Assessment Matrix from the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center has a wealth of information. It’s well-designed – you can explore assessments by domain (employment, education, independent living), grade level, type of disability, or any combination of the above.
  • Age Appropriate Transition Assessment Toolkit, 4th edition (PDF, 64 pages, 2016) from NTACT, the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition.
  • The Transition Coalition maintains a list of assessments with user reviews. You can see what other people think and also add your own opinions.
  • List of transition assessment websites from the Transition Coalition, University of Kansas. Click on Online Assessments and Resources at the bottom of their list to see the websites lis






Updated 7/12/19
Links checked 5/27/19