What makes a good exam?

Cameron Willis – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The end of first semester is looming, and that means midterms are fast approaching. Students are studying, teachers are educating, and everyone is stressed.

This has brought up the question, what makes a good midterm? Teachers and students have different opinions on what the perfect midterm would be like.

Sophomore Amanda Hamende said, “Teachers should include information the students have learned, and have a lot of multiple choice questions. They should have at least 80 questions, so I have room for error. Also, they should have a review packet that corresponds with the material on the exam.”

Sophomore Nicolette Ngov said, “I think we shouldn’t have them.  If we do, they should be long, with lots of questions in case I don’t know some.”

Sophomore Kara Smith agreed.

“Yeah,” she said, “and they should also have a lot of joke questions with genuinely funny answers.”

Overall, teachers seem to have a contradicting opinion.

“It’s comprehensive. From the big first chapter all the way to where you ended up, because everything is built on that. Include what the teacher would deem as the highlights of each section,” commented anatomy and physiology honors teacher Faust Delazzer.

Pre-AP world literature teacher Michael Wood concurred, “A good midterm consists of questions that test direct knowledge of a wide variety of materials learned over the semester. It also requires the student synthesize some of that material into something new, but relevant and related to it so they apply the knowledge, and not just regurgitate it.”

Dual Enrollment U.S. History teacher Thomas Honsa said the key to a good exam is “fairness. You don’t want to go blindside people with all kinds of stuff you haven’t studied. You have to give people plenty of heads up if you’re going to bring up first quarter stuff, too, so people know what they need to study. I think you don’t want it to be some giant pop quiz. You want it to be something that people have the opportunity to show off their knowledge and their ability to succeed.”

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