In order to stimulate student teachers to thoroughly comprehend the main variables influencing their work, teaching and assessment strategies in teacher education have changed significantly. One of the changes in the assessment of student teachers in teacher education programs is the use of case-based assessment instruments. Such instruments evaluate the extent to which student teachers are able to handle authentic problems. It is expected that implementing this mode of assessment will stimulate student teachers to adopt a deep approach to learning. In this study we examine student teachers’ learning approaches in the context of case-based assessment. Hereto, we investigated the direct effects of the student teachers’ general beliefs on the cognitive demands of assessment on their learning approaches. Also the student teachers’ perceptions of the cognitive demands of the case-based assessment instrument were considered as a mediating variable. The present study is conducted in the netherlands, in the third year of a 4-year initial teacher training program for primary education. A case-based assessment instrument, called the overall test, was implemented as the major determinate of the third-year final examination grade of the student teachers.the results of the correlation analyses and the path analyses indicate a strong influence of student teachers’ general beliefs on the cognitive demands of assessment on their perceptions of the cognitive demands of the overall test. The student teachers’ perception of the deep-level demands of the overall test mediates the effect of their beliefs on the adoption of deep approaches to learning.