Friday, February 27, 2009

Exam Writing

Yes, I have work to do. Lots of it. And I have the "other" work, which involves the kids and ALL their activities. So I'm taking a breather before I actually start typing up the reviewers for the kids' exams. I've found out that this helps them a LOT. I get their books and go through the pages for the quarter. I pretty much include definitions and fill in the blanks to make sure they remember what they've read. And yes, I mix up the words, too, hehehehe. Not to confuse them, but just to make sure that they're not remembering words and definitions based on the positions of those words on a page or something.

Then I ask them to answer my "test." It's guaranteed to be tougher than their actual exam, which should be the case while reviewing, right? :) And it HAS proven worthwhile, based on the past quarters.

So, some steps to exam writing:
1. Get the kids' books and prop them open next to the laptop.

2. Get the kids' Pointers for Review and keep them next to the laptop at all times. Better yet, make a copy or 2 just so I have a copy and the kids have their own copies.

3. At this stage (elementary level), just go through whatever is in the Pointers. Trust me, most teachers won't surprise their students at this point in their young school life :)

4. Identification - this one's a basic test item. Definitions galore. These are usually found either in the first or last part of a book chapter. Invaluable resource for exam writing, hehehe. I rarely include dates because really, who memorizes those things??? Except the REALLY important, famous ones.

5. Fill in the Blanks - Here is where I put the dates in, but as part of the question and NEVER for the child to answer. I found it helps the kids retain the dates more effectively because they read it and see it in the sentence; they now relate their answer (hopefully the correct one!) to the date written on the test paper.

6. Essays, Problem Solving - This teaches the kids to think. And it shows you how much of the lesson they understand enough to apply it to a real-life situation. Most of the time, I am surprised by the kids' insights. These aren't the usual from-the-book answers, but something they really think of!

7. Illustrations - Most of the time, especially in the younger grades, it's soooo much easier for the child to DRAW what he or she means instead of writing about it. Besides, writing takes forever to do, and illustrations on the paper looks so much prettier, lol!

8. Quizzes and Tests - Make SURE you have these on hand! Even if the answers come up twice or thrice, it's okay. At least the kids get a feel for what the exam may be like. And the best part, you don't have to think of how to do True or False, Modified True or False, Matching, and Multiple Choice. Not that easy to write a test you know! Besides, with the tests and quizzes in hand, it's soooo easy to change things around! Then you'll see if your child has studied or not!

9. When you type up the questions, MAKE SURE YOU TYPE THE ANSWERS right after the period!!! Trust me on this one! You don't want the child to ask you after he or she takes the test and you come up with zilch on this one! :)

10. When you're done with typing up the test, DELETE all the answers and SAVE AS the exam. This is what you'll print out for the kids to answer, and you'll have your answer key safe and sound.
Hope the above steps will help you in making your own exams for review! Sure beats having to pay a tutor to do it, eh?

Okay, now that I've inspired myself by going through the list above (hehehehe), off I go to type up some more exams!

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