Improve Math Test Scores by Asking the Right Questions
Every college math instructor has been there. The students have been actively engaged in class. They’ve completed their homework (for the most part). The majority have even turned in the test review that you provided. Yay! Then you grade the tests. Questions were left blank, many scored shockingly low, and several students left sad notes in the margins. Some did well, but so many failed that the bell curve is upside-down! How is it they learned so little?!
Then, we dive into the ice cream to ease the pain (or maybe that’s just me).
Well, put the ice cream back in the freezer, my friends, because there is hope! A few tweaks to the way you design test exercises could potentially improve test scores and right that bell curve, not by lowering standards, but by more accurately assessing student knowledge by asking more focused test questions.
How many levels of cognition are you assessing?
One of the challenges that college math students face is that most math exercises require several levels of cognition and a variety of mastered objectives. Consider the exercise: “Solve 5𝑥(𝑥−2) = 3𝑥−2.”