Semester Tests

Once again, as I approach semester test time, I am struggling to devise the “perfect exam.”  Once upon a time, my tests were primarily a regurgitation of everything we had studied during the semester.  On top of that, the tests were multiple choice and focused on things like “which of these characters was in this story?” and putting together timelines of events.  I didn’t put essay questions on the test because it took too much time to grade.

Now, I keep trying to find a more authentic way to test.  I’m working on it now.  I’ve found some questions that really demonstrate better testing.  Like “Which of these is not used in the following paragraph:  simile, metaphor, parallelism, allusion, hyperbole.”  The problem is how long it takes to write each of these questions and make sure they really focus on exactly what I want.  And, I am given a two hour block and if the test is too short, the students will have a lot of free time on their hands.

So, I would like to create a test that takes about 90 minutes that adequately challenges students to demonstrate their knowledge without simple memory vomit.

I don’t have the solution…but I’m going to keep working on it.

I am the language lover and these are my thoughts.


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