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Making an Effective Math Test for Your Students

Effective Math Test

The end-of-unit exam is so last century! 

Math education is evolving, and teachers and their math students are realizing that assessment has changed, too. Gone are the days of the basic math test photocopied out of the back of the teacher’s edition of the textbook. These days, making a test is an art, and a great math teacher knows how to harness both formative and summative student data to help students really grow. 

Are you looking to take math class to the next level by upping your assessment game? Read on to learn more about how highly effective math teachers are taking learning into their own hands through the power of math assessments. 

The Exit Ticket

Taking an exam can often take up an entire class period. If the results show that your students haven’t learned the material, that means spending time on re-teaching and remediation instead of moving forward. It is a much more efficient use of your time to track student understanding as you go, so you know what to expect on the day of the big test.

Many teachers are accomplishing this using exit tickets. In essence, to complete a lesson, a student must engage in a short assessment that shows they have mastered the material.

Students who have not achieved mastery can complete alternate assignments. You might place them into small groups for support while the rest of the class moves forward. 

The Interactive Assessment 

Over the past year and a half, many math teachers have had to adapt and move all of their exams online. This required a lot of honesty on the part of students and their families, as virtual proctoring often felt futile. Many online tools made it possible to succeed despite the odds. 

What if, instead of making math exams a sacrosanct assessment, we used math tests to help students grow? Many teachers have found a way to harness the power of Google Forms to create self-checking, self-remediating tests, and quizzes. These provide assessment data but also help students understand the problems with their thinking, so learning doesn’t stop on the day of the exam. 

Project-Based Assessment 

Other math teachers have dropped written exams completely in exchange for a project-based approach. This allows students to use math skills in a practical manner, often with real-world implications. Students become invested in the process and can practice other academic skills such as collaboration and written communication. 

The change to project-based assessment is a big leap pedagogically. You may wish to incorporate a few projects or elements to get you started before transforming your instruction. 

Ditch the Old School Math Test Approach

During the previous school year, so many teachers learned new skills that helped to make learning come alive, even virtually and across great distances. Being a teacher means adapting! Why shouldn’t you create a math test or assessment that gives you and your students the information you need to provide the right kind of support? 

Has this post inspired you to transform your teaching? There are many other great articles like this one on the blog! Get out there and learn something new! 

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