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Test Construction and Grading

  • Take a workshop on writing good tests
    Writing good tests is not a skill that you inherit automatically when you become an instructor. Take advantage of any workshops or seminars on writing effective tests that come your way. You can also check the "links" at the bottom of this teaching tip for hints on writing various types of tests.
  • Be willing to change an answer
    Have a system where students who feel strongly that their answers are correct can "appeal" their grade. You might have them submit the answer that they feel is correct in writing within 3 days of the exam. Have them explain why they think their answer is correct. Did they find their answer in the textbook? In their class notes? Be willing to meet with the student and give them credit for their answer if they have a valid point.
  • Decide whether you want to spend your time writing the test or grading the test.
    Certain tests, like multiple choice tests, are fairly time-consuming to write but are typically easy to grade -- especially if you use a test-scoring service like the CIE Data Processing Service in Stewart Center. On the other hand, essay tests are fairly easy to write but quite time-consuming to grade. If you use T.A.s to grade the class essays, have a practice grading session so you can get them to grade as similarly as possible.