Tuesday, March 7, 2017

There's Always One...

Can you spot the snail?
A week ago I gave my students an English test. We worked on the material beforehand, I made sure they really really knew it. I designed the test so that they would pass.

It was a comprehension test with a text about the life of Henrietta Szold. There were 20 vocabulary words to translate into Hebrew. Then there were 13 questions to answer about the text.

As with all tests, you have to assign points to each answer. The easiest way to do this is to, if possible, have all the points adding up to 100 so that you don't have  to do that percentage calculation at the end of each paper. I gave 20 points for the vocabulary - one point for each word, and 6 points for each of the other 13 questions - 78 points. This gave me 20 + 78 = 98 points in total.

Here it is.
What should I do about the missing two points? Simple. Rather than playing around with the maths and giving fractions (or decimals) of points for some questions, I decided to award the last two points for writing their name,

A couple of questions were, 'in your opinion' questions so there was a lot of leeway for getting it right. There is no right for someone's opinion but the answer does have to be relevant and not too silly. ('Silly' is defined at my discretion.)

Everyone got all the questions correct. (One student was away so she has to make up the test.) So that's 100% across the board, right? Except that one student didn't write her name.

I nearly gave her 98%. I very really nearly did. But in the end I awarded those two points to two other questions that possibly required greater thought and a more detailed answer.

There's always one, isn't there?


  1. You're obviously a very good teacher to be able to help them all get top marks, well done. Mich x

    1. Confidence goes a long way in language learning so I work on giving them as much confidence as possible. It was almost impossible to get these questions wrong.

  2. What a great way to encourage learning :-)