Writing Essay Tests

Writing Essay Tests-45
This makes the essay worth writing, and it validates the effort you will use to grade it.

Using words like these will help students understand what you want them to do in their essays.

As Indiana University reminds teachers, "Clearly stated questions not only make essay tests easier for students to answer, but also make them easier for instructors to score."Use essays to measure higher-level thinking skills.

Do not ask essay questions that only ask students to remember or summarize.

Rather, ask questions that require students to analyze, synthesize or explain a topic within a new context.

As the Utah State Office of Education notes, "It will be easier to prepare scoring guides for several short items and your scoring will be much more reliable than on one long item."Give your students clear guidelines for how to answer the essays.

When you write your questions, think about how you want your students to answer them.Consider the amount of time available and how you normally write essay-type assignments.Make time for each step and plan more time for steps that you struggle with.Use adjectives where you think it's necessary, but as a general rule, you shouldn't add any necessary words. Studying for an essay test requires a special method of preparation distinctly different from a multiple-choice test.Require students to write several short essays rather than one long one.This helps the students because it gives them a chance to write on a variety of topics; if their understanding of one topic is deficient, they can still earn points for the other topics.Answering essay questions on an exam can be difficult and stressful, which can make it hard to provide a good answer.However, you can improve your ability to answer essay questions by learning how to understand the questions, form an answer, and stay focused.Use this knowledge to develop a scoring rubric, and include it with the test.This way your students will have a guideline to use as they write, and they will have a better chance of earning a good score on their essay tests.


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