Transition Assessment Tools
Transition assessments are tools that help students identify their strengths, interests, skills, and/or knowledge needed to reach their goals for life after high school. Postsecondary goals and transition services must be based on the results of age-appropriate transition assessments. These can be formal or informal assessments.
Formal transition assessments:
- Published tests provide scores that compare students to others
- Can be a starting point
- Can learn about a wide variety of skill levels in various areas (e.g., vocational, academic, social)
- Types: learning style inventories, academic achievement tests, adaptive behavior scales, aptitude tests, interest inventories
Informal transition assessments:
- Observations of 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 created by teachers, and do not include a concrete score
Transition assessments are part of an ongoing planning process that will vary from student to student.
Consider using a tiered framework to organize the range of transition assessments you might use to meet a variety of student needs.
General assessment resources
- Examples on the Transition Assessment page of our Transition IEP Tool.
- Tiered Framework for Transition Assessment, a page on this site.
- Transition Assessment Self-Reflection Tool (PDF, 7 pages, 2018), from Transition Tennessee.
- Recordings and materials from Next Steps webinar, “Transition Assessment: Know the Options and How to Use Them“
- Zarrow Center’s Transition Assessment and Goal Generator (TAGG). It costs $3/student and is becoming widely used in schools.
Compilations of assessments
- 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 Assessments and Resources (PDF, 23 pages, 2021), from Wisconsin, has a straightforward overview of transition assessments plus an extensive listing (with links) of assessments and resources organized into transition planning areas.
- Age Appropriate Transition Assessment Toolkit, 4th edition (PDF, 54 pages, 2016) from NTACT, the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition. Covers the purposes and process of transition assessment, and provides help in selecting and using formal and informal assessments. You will have to create a free account to get to the toolkit.
- 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 assessments sorted by focus area, from South Dakota’s Transition Services Liaison Project.
- AIR Self-Determination Assessment (free)
- Index of Learning Styles from North Carolina State University (free)
- Self-determination assessments from the Zarrow Center for Transition and Self-Determination at the University of Oklahoma.
- The online Self-Determination Inventory System (SDIS) is a a strong research-based snapshot of self-determination. There are three inventories: Student Report (SDI:SR), Parent/Teacher Report (SDI:PTR), and Adult Report (SDI:AR). From the Kansas University Center for Developmental Disabilities.
- Self-determination Student Checklist from Virginia Department of Education I’m Determined Project (free)
- RENEW Youth Portfolio (free)
Assistive technology assessments
- Importance of accurate assessment to make the right match between technology and user, from techpotential.net
- See the Assistive Technology resource page on this site for more.
Independent living asessments
- Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale
- Life Skills Inventory (free)
- Casey Life Skills (free)
- Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire (TRAQ) to measure youth readiness for adult healthcare (free)
- teacher-made questionnaire or survey
- Index of Learning Styles (free)
- RENEW Youth Portfolio (free)
Vocational & career exploration assessments
- Brigance Transition Skills Inventory
- O*Net Online (free)
- O*Net Resource Center (free)
- Career Cruising
- Choices360 (formerly Bridges)
- SIGI (System of Integrated Guidance and Information)
- Extended learning Opportunities (ELOs)
- Work-based learning (job shadows, internships, business tours)
- YES! (Your Employment Selections)
- Interest inventories page on this site
- My Next Move (free)
- Vocational Information Center (Khake) (free)
- Career One Stop (free)
- Kids Work (free)
College readiness assessments
Student Resource Guide (PDF, 30 pages, 2018) from Routledge has a College Readiness Assessment starting on page 14, and a series of college readiness activities.
Landmark College developed a Guide to Assessing College Readiness (PDF, 6 pages, 2009) to help parents and students assess readiness for college work.