The Assessment Experience Questionnaire has been widely used to measure conditions of learning from assessment. It is one of three methods used in the ‘Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment’ research process, originally funded by the Higher Education Academy to explore programme assessment patterns, and now used extensively in universities in the United Kingdom. Given the growth of assessment and feedback research over the last decade, the Assessment Experience Questionnaire is ripe for revision. Critics have queried its theoretical and statistical robustness. This study investigated the psychometric properties of the Assessment Experience Questionnaire, as the first step in the process of strengthening the instrument. Specifically, we examined the validity of the questionnaire with a sample of final year undergraduate students from eight UK universities (n = 633). Results were mixed, confirming that the questionnaire has some value, but indicating that not all sub-scales possess adequate psychometric properties to underpin confident conclusions. As a result, we have embarked on a process of making conceptual modifications to the Assessment Experience Questionnaire, both to update the theoretical constructs, and to ensure stronger overall validity. This article indicates the direction of these modifications, which will be outlined in a second article.