Students Can Write Good Exam Questions

I recently discovered a 2014 study that reported on student-generated multiple-choice questions. It was the results that really caught my attention: “We find that these first-year students are capable of producing very high quality questions and explanations” (Bates, Galloway, Riise, & Horner, 2014, p. 10).

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why I stopped giving exams - student reading

Why I Stopped Giving Exams

A few years ago, a student came to see me because she was having trouble passing the Praxis exam, which was delaying her student teaching and her ultimate career goal. She had taken the exam three times and had met with another professor to get

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second chances at learning

Second Chances at Learning

In a 1992 article in College Teaching, authors Mealy and Host identify three types of students who report high levels of anxiety during exams; those who lack adequate study skills, those who can study but are easily distracted during an exam, and students who mistakenly

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Reduce Exam Anxiety

A Strategy for Reducing Exam Anxiety

It’s an expressive writing activity, and it couldn’t be much simpler or more straightforward. Before students start an exam, on a sheet fastened to the front of it, they spend five minutes (or some other designated time period) writing about their thoughts and feelings regarding

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multiple-choice tests

Multiple-Choice Tests: Revisiting the Pros and Cons

Given class sizes, teaching loads, and a host of other academic responsibilities, many teachers feel as though multiple-choice tests are the only viable option. Their widespread use justifies a regular review of those features that make these tests an effective way to assess learning and

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Retrieval Cues on Tests

Using Retrieval Cues on Tests

Tests cause most students considerable anxiety. That’s good, because it usually motivates them to study. However, when it’s time to take the exam, excessive anxiety can compromise how students perform. They miss questions that they knew the answer to, or so they tell us. We

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Students at university lecture raise hands to ask questions

Conducting In-Class Reviews Effectively

Good study skills are the key to successful performance on exams in college, and good study skills are what many of today’s college students don’t have. We can spend time pontificating about who bears the responsibility for these absent skills. We can philosophize about who

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students taking a test

Is It Time to Rethink Our Exams?

I’ve been ruminating lately about tests and wondering if our thinking about them hasn’t gotten into something of a rut. We give exams for two reasons. First, we use exams to assess the degree to which students have mastered the content and skills of the

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