ELT Times Search
  • Language Classes… Heat Up Careers! March 9, 2012
    Whether you love the snow or can’t wait until the warmer days of spring, this is a time of year when we all start to get a little stir-crazy, suggests Charlotte Evans. Winter was fun back in December but now the cold temperatures and extra layers of clothing are starting to feel a bit […]
  • Learning and Communicative Strategies March 6, 2012
    Introduction Communicative strategies are systematic techniques employed by a speaker to express his meaning when faced with some difficulty and the difficulty here refers to the speaker’s inadequate command of the language used in the interaction (Faerch & Kasper, 1983:16). On the other hand, the term learning strategies has been defined as “the higher- […]
  • Optimizing Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) March 6, 2012
    Technology transforms virtually all human pursuits, notes Michael G. Hines. In the field of education, the use of audiovisual aids, computers, and telecommunication devices has radically altered classroom dynamics. For ESL and TFL practitioners, the possibilities being opened up by technology are highly promising, with the currently accepted practices alread […]
  • Confessions of a term paper buyer March 5, 2012
    If your student has made the decision to enlist term paper help, then the next rung of the ladder is to establish a dependable and expert term paper writing company from the myriad alternatives accessible online. So, how do our students go about this? One of my students agreed to talk… strictly off the […]
  • Selling textbooks after you’ve finished using them? Here’s some advice February 28, 2012
    These days, being a student is in many ways more demanding than ever. In other ways, though, those attending university have never had it better. The advent of the internet has brought a wealth of information to the modern learner’s fingertips. The advent of sites like Wikipedia has made conducting research and building up […]
  • Want to employ the best teachers? Test them! February 22, 2012
    Are you looking for new teachers? Make sure you do into the process with a clear strategy for how you ensure you end up with the best candidate. Employee assessment tests are extremely important in enabling you as a recruiter of teachers to be able to make measured and well-informed decisions about the type […]
  • Online learning: Do you have the right personality? February 13, 2012
    Research has shown that online learning is better suited to people who are verbally oriented, rather than those who have visual or kinesthetic skills. For this reason, notes Jonathan Ginsburg, whether or not a student is successful in an e-learning course can depend considerably on their personality and their learning type. Before taking an […]
  • Alternative careers: Operations management February 13, 2012
    Tired of the hoi polloi of everyday life as a language teacher? Why not train to become an operations manager instead? An mba in healthcare management is an absolutely indispensable industry qualification which enables those who take it to hone their decision making abilities. The importance of a healthcare mba In today’s bloodthirsty world, […]
  • Can we use dreams to teach English? January 11, 2012
    Dogme ELT is rooted in the experiences of the learner and what they bring with them to the classroom. Our unconscious mind regularly sends us communication in the form of dreams: it is an advantage to understand the meaning of these messages. As our subconscious sends us only constructive information about our existence, it […]
  • Types of Professional Evaluation in Language Education January 3, 2012
    Introduction Curriculum evaluation has become of increasing interest to educators and curriculum planners since the 1960s (Richards 200 I), and since then it has embraced various aspects of language programs. Evaluation has not only been defined in terms of the purposes it serves, but it has also been given a central role by professionals […]

Testing / Assessing Students

November at the Times is dedicated to a series of articles from Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa, the creator and writer of TEFL Tips, The LA Job List, and The Ultimate Peru List.

Although tests and an exam are a necessary evil of classes, there are things that you can do to make them easier for both you and your students.

● Only test what you have taught. This includes the content and the structure of the exam. Content refers to the specific grammar or vocabulary points. And structure refers to the layout of the exam. For example, if you’ve only given them exercises where they’ve had to circle the correct answer, it wouldn’t be fair to give them fill in the blank/gap exercises.

● Buy an exam book. Often the teacher’s book will have a test section. You’ll make your life a lot easier if you use some of the exercises from the teacher’s book. I’m not saying to copy the whole thing, but you could use some and then supplement the rest with your own ideas.

● Be strict. As far as talking, borrowing pencils, erasers, etc, don’t allow it. Tell students ahead of time and be sure that your coordinator or director backs you up. If they need a pencil or eraser, make sure that you have some extras on hand.

● Check answers together. There are a couple benefits of checking exams together. First, it’s less work for you. Second, students get their results back faster. If you’re going to check the exam during class, make sure that the students only have a pen on their desk. Writing is the one exception, you’re going to have to check that by yourself. However, if you use rubrics, it’ll make checking writing a whole lot faster.

● Stagger your tests. If you teach different levels, have tests on different days so you don’t have to do all the grading at once. For example, test the intermediate students on Monday and the advanced students on Tuesday.

● Save your tests. While you probably can’t use them right away, you might be able to use the same exercises for different levels. This is especially true for grammar. And for reading, you could copy the text and simply write different questions.

● Proof-read. You’re bound to make a typo or two, so before you sent your exam to be printed, proof-read it. Or better yet, have someone else proof-read it.

● Do your tests ahead of time. It might not be fun, but sitting down one day and getting all your tests done for a class will save you from getting stressed later on.

● Make an answer key. This is especially necessary if other teachers are going to use your test. Or if you save your tests.

● Vary the exercises. Fill in the blank/gap, True/False, Fix the mistake, Matching, Multiple choice, are all possible exercises that can be used on exams.

● Make them easy to grade. Don’t overuse fill in the blank/gap exercises, they’re harder to grade and students might ask for partial credit if they have part of it correct.

About the author

Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa is the creator and writer for TEFL Tips, The LA Job List, and The Ultimate Peru List. She enjoys answering people’s questions about TEFLing and Peru.

VN:F [1.9.15_1155]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.15_1155]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Sphere: Related Content


2 comments to Testing / Assessing Students

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wordpress themes