Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reverse Engineering the Test Questions

Remember that special ed. algebra 1 class where I got to give them a test? Well, I was back again, and again they had a test.

(Considering the number of repeat classes I'm doing this year, I need to seriously rethink my tagging system. I've been in this class eight different days now, and I should link them all together.)

Actually, it was my day two (of a three-day stint) in the class, and this was their second test.

As they worked, I made myself a mini key. The teacher had left a key, but he had done this on the test itself. The students weren't to write on the tests. Instead, they had answer sheets. So, rather than flip pages for each test I corrected, I thought it would be easier to read from an answer sheet that looked like theirs.

It did make grading that much easier.

But, as I copied the answer key, I noticed that the last four problems required a pie graph that was not included in the test. First clue: each of those problems said "SEE BOARD".

I looked around for the pie chart and found it on the back of the answer key. Immediately, I went to the board and wrote it up.

Three students turned in their tests. A fourth came up to me and asked a question. "Out of how many people is that?"

The pie chart gave percentages of people who had worked out (0-1, 2-3, 4-5, and more hours per week), but not the number of people. The four questions asked how many people fell into each category.

I looked for the number. It wasn't there. Um...

But I had the answer key! If the answer to number 27 was 240 and 240 represented 60%... A quick calculation, and I knew the total number. I wrote it up on the board (then went and checked the next question to make sure that the number worked for it as well).

Funny how three students "finished" their tests without having that key piece of information. I'm assuming they guessed. And that they didn't know how to do the problems.

Because sometimes the test is wrong.

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised they didn't ask why there wasn't anything on the board for them to look at. People usually jump if there's something wrong with a test. Usually in an attempt to get extra credit.

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