Class Tests – Making, Doing & Reflecting!
In this post, I’ve included a Marketing test that I gave recently, with some sample answers for different parts and the marking scheme I used, as well as a post-exam reflection sheet given out to my class afterwards. I’ve found spending a little time creating class tests instead of using Past Paper questions has been good to catch out students that have learned off solutions. I also spend some of the time during the class test to answer some of the test myself, and it has helped show the students what is required for full marks. Let’s look at making, doing & reflecting on a class test!
Making Class Tests
It will take a little longer than copying and pasting past papers or using Study Clix to create an exam, but I think theres big benefits from creating your own class exams for your students. Using past paper questions, but mixing up the links e.g. instead of source of new ideas for Google, change it to Tayto, or else mix up the verb used e.g. ask for the implications of market research, or discuss market research, not just explain it. As our students use past paper solutions more and more, mixing up the required response is more important so they’re tested by the exam, and not just able to re-hash a learned off solution.
To help you adjust past paper questions to change the required response, check out our post on different verb outcomes here!
Doing Class Tests
I’ve recently gotten in to the habit of doing part of or all of a class exam as my students are doing it. I think it gives a good idea of how long you have to write for an answer and also provides some sample answers to use to discuss through on the projector after the exam. I also find its much easier to correct the tests after doing some of it as you’re more in tune as to what the question is asking and seeing what you would have written for the answer.
Something I’ve also done at different times is write out a few answers for the same question (usually just one part e.g. just one entrepreneurial skill/characteristic), but I’ve done it in such a way that if I write three sample answers, they would all get different marks/be different standards e.g. one might not have keywords, one might not have a link to the question asked, one might appear too brief but is full marks. I find giving this out before giving back their results and having a class discussion on it, letting them debate as to why what answer should get what marks is a great way for them to be able to critically reflect on their own exam when they get it back!
You could also go the whole hog and sit the Leaving Cert as I did in June, I found it a very valuable experience and I learned a lot from it which you can read about here!
Reflecting on Class Tests
In this week’s resources, you’ll also find a student self-reflection sheet that can be good to use after an exam. I like to discuss the marking scheme and some sample answers first, then give back their exams to review, and when they’ve done this I’ll give them 10 minutes to complete the feedback form and hand it back up to me at the end of the class. This can help them think about and figure out where they are losing marks and can help them realise with some small tweaks to exam management or timing or learning more keywords, they can gain large chunks of marks from doing it! They can then set a single area to work on for their next class test, and prior to the class test you can remind them of the one area they were to work on. If it works and they improve, then over the course of a couple of class tests, your students could be able to add a few percent in a few areas, really lifting up their grades!
There isn’t much to be learned from a class test for you or your student by just giving it, correcting it, and moving on – every class test is an opportunity to learn and adjust exam technique as we move on towards the big one in June!
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