Abstract Several benefits of using scoring rubrics in performance assessments have been proposed, such as increased consistency of scoring, the possibility to facilitate valid judgment of complex competencies, and promotion of learning. This paper investigates whether evidence for these claims can be found in the research literature. Several databases were searched for empirical research on rubrics, resulting in a total of 75 studies relevant for this review. Conclusions are that: (1) the reliable scoring of performance assessments can be enhanced by the use of rubrics, especially if they are analytic, topic-specific, and complemented with exemplars and/or rater training; (2) rubrics do not facilitate valid judgment of performance assessments per se. However, valid assessment could be facilitated by using a more comprehensive framework of validity when validating the rubric; (3) rubrics seem to have the potential of promoting learning and/or improve instruction. The main reason for this potential lies in the fact that rubrics make expectations and criteria explicit, which also facilitates feedback and self-assessment.