Transition Planning

Finding out what you like – transition assessment

  • What am I good at?

    What is transition assessment?

    Transition assessment is an ongoing process of collecting data on your needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to both your current goals and the long term goal you have for after high school.

    The goal is to figure out what you are interested in, what you would like to do, and what support needs or learning needs you have. The information that you and your IEP team get from these assessments help to inform what your goals should be for the school year.

    Transition assessment may come in many different forms.

    • A paper and pencil inventory that asks about what your interests are
    • Formal interviews with you and your parents
    • Community or work based assessments where someone observes you as you do things by yourself in the community or how you learn when in the community
    • Formal assessments that look at what you are good at, how smart you are or what your accomplishments are.
    • Formal assessments that look at personality or social skills, things like how you deal with anger and frustration or how you communicate.
    • Measures of how well you are able to speak up for your needs
  • Am I ready for life after school?

    What does transition assessment do?

    Transition assessment helps you and your IEP team to develop goals and objectives for your IEP that are based on what you are good at and where you may need to develop skills. It creates a picture of your "present level of performance" or how well you are currently doing in a particular area related to your transition goal.   It can help inform which classes you take during the school year, and it can tell you what you are good at outside of school.  

    Remember that the goal of this whole process is to build skills that will help you reach a long term goal for after you get out of school. The transition assessments provide the information that you and your IEP team need to determine what you should work on to get to that future goal.

  • What happens now?

    What kind of assessments will the school do?

    The type of assessment that your school does for your transition assessment will probably be a little different for everyone. If you have a pretty clear idea of what you want to do when you graduate, the school may just pull together some existing information from tests you have taken in the past, like IQ tests or achievement in classes, talk to you and your family, figure out what your interests are, and rate your social skills.

    I like art!

    If you have shown a particular interest or skill in one area, they may do aptitude testing.  

    I don't know what I want to do!

    If you are having trouble deciding what to do with yourself after high school, the school will probably add assessments that look at your work skills and interests, the soft skills that we talked about in the "Navigating the World of Work" module, and your independent living skills. If you are not at all sure about what to do with your future or earlier tests didn’t provide enough information, they might decide to send you to a professional vocational evaluator for a complete set of tests.

    Transition assessment should answer three basic questions:

    1.  Where are you presently?

    2.  Where are you going?

    3.  How do you get there?

  • Let’s review these findings with your family!


    After your school completes any assessment, you and your family should have input into figuring out what the results might mean for your future.    The findings should be written into your IEP to support the goals that you have chosen to work on.  That way you can re-visit your plan at your next IEP meeting to see how far you have come, and make a plan for next steps.

  • Let’s see if you remember the key points!


    Transition assessments are paper and pencil tests that I get graded on.


    FALSE. Transition assessments come in all different forms, paper and pencil, interviews, trying jobs in the community, or computer questionnaires that focus on what you like to do or the supports you need. While these are sometimes scored, they are not graded. The scores help professionals to understand what you are good at and where you need support. Assessments provide information about you to help you decide what to do with your future.

    My parents and I will have to decide on a goal by looking at all of these assessments.


    FALSE. A professional from the school should work with you to understand what the assessments say about you. But you know yourself better than anyone else and your parents know quite a bit too. Don’t be afraid to share your own thoughts and ideas about your goals for the future. No assessment is perfect.

    Every student gets the same assessments.


    FALSE. Every student is unique. Your transition team will select assessments for you based on your own strengths and needs. So while you may take some of the same assessments as your friends, you may take some that are unique to you. It does not mean that anyone is smarter or better than anyone else, the assessments selected just provide information to you and your team to make the best decision possible about your future.

    Transition assessments should answer three basic questions – where are you now, where are you going, and how do you get there.


    TRUE. The goal of the assessment process is to help you and your team understand who you are and what you are good at, what you might like to do in your future and what support you need to achieve your goals.

  • Let's review this chapter!


    What is transition assessment?  Transition assessments are tests and experiences that help you decide what you are good at, what you might like to do, and what support needs you have.

    Why would I want to take assessments?  Transition assessments help you and your IEP team to develop the goals and objectives that you will work on each year.  They help you write the IEP and make sure that it is focused on what you want and need.  

    What questions do transition assessment answer? 

    Transition assessments answer three basic questions: 

    1. Where are you presently?
    2. Where are you going?
    3. How do you get there?
  • Chapter complete!