Assessments in the Arts


Art classes at TBS are not just seen as a “bird class,” an easy class students fly through. They are treated just as seriously as an academic class because graduating students should have experience all essential subjects. Even so, many students express surprise to find out there are assessments like quizzes and tests in their art classes.

   Some classes even had to take exams, “I took the foundations exam when I was a freshman” said Emma Mcadoo (‘19).

  The tests and quizzes are given to see a student’s skill level, to test your knowledge for how much you know, and to go towards your grade as an addition to participation grades.

   In every arts class, there are going to be different vocabulary words and terms that students need to know to help them get the most out of the class.

  “Take dance, for example, there are so many terms that are needed to understand movement and in order to perform if your choreographer is using certain terminologies, well, you better know what it means,” said Mrs. Marks.

  Tests and quizzes or ‘assessments’, said Mrs. Rippell, Head of the Fine Arts department, are given in almost every class for the same reasons as they would in an academic class.

  In art classes, a quiz is not always the traditional multiple choice. “There is this sort of generalization about what an assessment is and a lot of people think that it is a test or a quiz but all of the art classes give assessments,” said Mrs. Rippell.

  In every section of art classes, like drama, art, and chorus, there are different assessments.

  “So specifically for my theater classes the kinds of assessments I give are, we call them rehearsal grades, we’re assessing skills like are you turning out on stage are you projecting are you annunciating are you working on character, but then also recognizing this is a space for growth. So we give a lot of copious amounts of notes and then we would give a final grade at the end of the project,” said Mrs. Rippell.

  If Juniors and Seniors took Foundations Art when they were a sophomore or a freshman, they had to take a final exam at the end of the semester.

  Foundations used to take an exam at the end of a semester. The exam consisted of artists they had learned about that semester and vocabulary. And at the end of the exam, they had to draw something but the drawing had certain requirements like, “use 2d art.” The exam has since been dropped.

  Current Sophomores and Freshman, if they took foundations, did not take the exam because they instead have a final art assessment. Which they do little projects after every new type of art they learn like painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.


Every art class does different assessments because of which art it is (i.e. band, chorus, art, etc), but their assessments are also similar because of how they are given.

  “We also do quarterly projects which are called musicianships which is where you can do essentially anything you want which you can do a recording, make your own instrument, go to an orchestra, some people even make a CD,” said Zach Makari (‘21).

  Band’s assessments are similar to foundation arts with their assessments but they are different because they are different departments of art.

  In art, chiaroscuro is the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting. Art students would need to know this term for their class. But the only way for a teacher to know that the student actually knows the terms are to give tests, quizzes, assessments.

  “And that can also happen in art if a teacher is talking about chiaroscuro and you’re like ‘what?’ so you need to learn what that is,” said Mrs. Marks.


  1.   What does dominance mean in visual art terms?
  2.  Rough painting with dark colors
  3.  The strongest focal point with the greatest visual weight
  4.  Using a white pencil/crayon on a black piece of paper
  5.  When the teacher yells at you
  6.   What does rectilinear mean in visual art terms?
  7. Shapes whose boundaries usually consist entirely of straight lines.
  8.   A drawing consisting of only rectangles
  9.  A rectangle with a painting inside it
  10.  Multiple shapes overlapping each other
  11.   What are the correct five groups of instruments?
  12.  Keyboard, drums, guitar, triangle, and trumpets
  13.  Strings, woodwinds, triangle, drums, and keyboard
  14.  Percussions, keyboard, strings, woodwinds, and triangle
  15.  Woodwinds, keyboard, percussions, strings, and brass
  16.   True or false: it is ok to turn your back to the audience on stage during a performance.
  17.   What are the correct orders for the grouping in a chorus?
  18.  Bass, alto for girls and soprano, tenor for girls
  19.  Tenor, alto for guys and bass, soprano for girls
  20.  Alto, soprano for girls and bass, tenor for guys
  21.  Alto, soprano for guys and bass, tenor for girls


  1.   B
  2.   A
  3.   False
  4.   D
  5.   C