If a student receives a bad test, how do you interpret it? If the grade is low (i.e., 30%) would you allow the student to retake a modified version of the test?

Bryan Mahaffey
Bryan Mahaffey
217 Activity Points

Hello Bryan,

There are many possible interpretations of a poor score on a test.  Knowing your students and developing an assessment practice in your classroom that gives you and your students constant feedback on performance is required.  Looking at your gradebook it should be easy to spot if a poor test score is an anomaly or a fair assessment. 

Questions to ask about the student: Were they ill?  Did they miss some work? Is there something going on outside of school that is affecting them? Could they have test anxiety? Do they have difficulty in organizing themselves? Do they simply need more time?

Reflecting on your role:  Were the questions unexpected or confusing?  Was the test poorly scheduled - something big in the school happening or did they have another test that day? Was there ample time to prepare - I always gave one week between the last assignment returned and the day of the test? Did you give adequate feedback on returned work?  I even made student redo assignments they bombed.

Students need to learn how to prepare and write a test.  Give them simple tips like bypassing difficult questions until later, pacing themselves, and that erasing is a waste of time - simply strike through passages being changed.  Suggest how to organize themselves and plan their study time.  Encourage re-writing notes, and anticipating questions.

I would certainly allow the student a rewrite. Don’t just arrange another date and tell them to study more.  Arrange for some remedial work or one-on-one time.  Informing the parents can shed light on the issue and will allow them to support their child’s preparation.  Consider having the student only rewrite questions they did poorly on or modifying the format to suit their strengths.  I (almost) never complained about making different versions of a test - it would always come in useful at a later date.

Hope this helps!

Gabe Kraljevic

Gabe Kraljevic
Gabe Kraljevic
4174 Activity Points

Gabe-

Thanks for the reply. I like the idea of having the students rewrite the questions they did poorly on/ modifying them to suit their strengths. Also, as a teahcer I do need to be more conscientious about the outside factors that can negatively affect a students performance. I feel like when the time comes to make these decisions I will be perpared and aware of these factors. I always appreciate insight from other teachers.

Thanks,

Bryan

Bryan Mahaffey
Bryan Mahaffey
217 Activity Points

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