Final Exam Thoughts

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5 thoughts on “Final Exam Thoughts”

  1. I am really sailing through exams this year too, for the first time. I divided the exam into two parts, one listening and one reading. For the first part we did a class story. This one wasn’t completely spontaneous, but based on a cartoon story I prepared, about a little girl looking for a pet but running into trouble with each of her choices. I circled the story for about 25 minutes, and then gave a copy of the picture story to each student. Then I made 20 statements about the story and they chose which picture (out of 15) matched the statement. Hooray! I have only two of my first-year students who didn’t get at least 80% of those questions. One of these surprised me – he must be very good at pretending the rest of the time, or cheating, because I didn’t have him on my radar. Rats.
    The reading was a separate short story, about 300 words, with some questions attached about the basics of the story. I have really enjoyed my exams this year. And they’re not taking me forever to grade!

  2. I wish I could just ditch the fake stuff. I don’t mind our speaking and writing exams – for the most part, my kids do well on those. They are actually using the language to communicate, and they are good at that.
    But the multiple choice stuff gets them every single time. All of that nit-picky stuff that 99% of the time you can’t even hear in spoken French! Even the best students don’t do well on that. Some of it is due to this being the third day of tests within a two-week period – they are burned out on tests, and so am I. Some of it is due to not really acquiring every single grammar point that we are supposed to teach in that year. But you know what I’ve learned? Before TPRS, the students bombed all three parts of the test – except the 4%ers, they did fine all along. Now, the students pass two parts with flying color and only bomb the last part of the test. So I’m happy to have those results.

  3. I cannot use this format for finals since all of my kids are tested at the same time and I am not the proctor, but have to be available to all sections for questions. Withthat said, I need a test grade for the end of the year and this is just what the doctor ordered for levels 1 and 2. Thanks, Ben, This is a real lifeline.

  4. Jennifer in NJ

    I’d like to have more discussion about final exam creation and see sample sections of them. This is the hardest part of teaching for me. Since I’m not quite prepared for standards based grading yet, I need other ideas for test that honor CI instruction but will also work in the points/% grade system.

  5. I’ve stopped calling tests “tests” and exams “exams.” Now of course most days there are the quick quizzes and jGR observations. Besides those, every once and a while I have my students do a freewrite, dictation, answer questions about a passage we’ve read–or a new passage that is similar to something we’ve read–etc. These are all “tests,” I just don’t call them that anymore. Now I just say “read this and do this” or “listen to me and do this.”
    My finals this year, then, will be something like that. We are required to give some kind of final exam, but I’ll probably just give my kids something to read and have them do a few things with it. Essential sentences, maybe, and some questions. I like how Ben suggests here to prep for the final with some auditory back-and-forth about the passage. Sounds like a winning formula.

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