Formative assessment includes both formal (testing) and informal (discussion) assessments which take place during the learning process so that a teacher can modify lessons if needed. The purpose of these assessments is to examine student learning in order to insure the student is able to grasp/master the material being taught.
Problems that may arise with students during formative assessments are normally individual. Some students may not be good test takers, readers, listeners, or mentally capable to grasp the information being taught. Teachers could have rushed through information and a student may not have had time to grasp the information as well as they should have.Modifications should be made based upon findings of assessments to help students who have these problems.
As for the strengths of students, they are simply the opposite of the weaknesses. Some students are excellent test takers, listeners, and readers. Students of this type will most likely do very well during any type (formal or informal) of assessment given.