"Grading Test(s) Is a Reality That Need Not Be Overwhelming."
Letters from the Picnic Table in an Ivory Tower

A Teaching Reality
      Needing to grade, let alone keep track of, 4 or 5 sets of papers is a teaching reality. It need not be over-whelming. Until you develop your own system, consider using mine.
      This page lists some suggestions for the usual paper grading and for a grading used to focus content on a micro-scale, a classroom scale.

Color Code Everything!
      Color code the header on the each student's paper. Color code the paper on which the assignment is printed if it is possible and desirable.
Name _______________________Circle: BLUE GREEN   Algebra © 2011, a2
      Color code the paper clips used to collect papers together. See below.
      When students hand in ANY work, have them write their names and class color on the paper.

Other Logistics
      Here's a list of a few other tests suggestions.
  • Leave room on the test paper for work to be completed. Usually the more work space the better.
  • Leave even more room for LD students.
  • Print tests on one side only. Let the back be for "scrap."
  • My tests usually run about 1 page = 1 half-hour in algebra, 1 page = 45 minutes in precalc.
  • An answer key I can complete in 15-20 minutes, takes an hour when administers.
  • I write a test that has 1 hour budgeted in the curriculum to take 1/2 hour so students has double the time to take the test and time-and-a-half requirements for test administration are met. Yes, this means a test may only take as long as a quiz. [It is a trick I learned from a very, very, good Italian professor.]
  • I do not staple my tests together.
  • When one student's papers are graded and recorded, I fold them in half to keep them together.
  • Put the grading rubric on the answer key.
  • Grade all of one question, or all of a small set of questions, at one time to be consistent.

Grade Points Earned Rather than Points Lost
      The world revolved about points earned -- 100% correct for a perfect paper, 70 to 75% correct for a mean, 10 to 12 to 15% for a standard deviation. Why fight it? [The only reason to count points lost is that with a good set of papers, you need add smaller numbers then subtract from a perfect paper to decrease work.]

Marking Points on a Test Paper
      Listing point value on the question and in the margin is only necessary if you are doing a detailed analysis of the test or if you believe students will edit their papers once they are returned. Yes, it has happenned to me.
      Above and below subsets of all test questions are graded at once with individual question results marked both on the question and in the margin. The final grade may be computed once all tests are scored or in a more sophisticated manner.

Additional Info
      Additional info on grading, averages, curving, and test anlalyis may be found in the Table of Contents.

mathnstuff.com/papers/craft/c25.htm © 2011, A2
"Grading Test(s) Is a Reality That Need Not Be Overwhelming."
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