Quizzes versus Tests

17 Sep

Is there a difference between quizzes and tests? Should there be? Is a quiz simply a small test? Is it small solely because you haven’t covered all of the material yet? Should quizzes be graded differently than tests? Why? or Why not for all of this?

This is a struggle for me this year. If I had it my way, I would grade quizzes on a rubric, give it back to the kids with lots of comments, and not even put it in the grade, but that’s not really a popular answer. For some people, it takes them 5-6 hours to grade a single assessment with a rubric–for me, never more than two hours, and that’s a long assessment. So when some of my teachers tell me that SBG is taking them too much time, I feel for them. I want to make it easier. We switched to at least attempting to give all of our tests MC so they emulate the CSTs. We use the cut score practices I learned from ETS/CDE to apply SBG to the MC test. Everyone seems to like that. Boy is it nice for grading. I think I had everything done and in the gradebook in less than an hour. It is also SUPER nice for our planned interventions. We discussed the key standards, I looked at my CST and test data and was able to pull my strategic intervention students in maybe 15 minutes.

While I could tell you my students strengths and weaknesses, they couldn’t by looking at the test because there was absolutely no commentary from me. They graded it to see what problems they got wrong, and were given time to correct, but that’s just not the same. Though I’m actually not sure if that’s more authentic or less. I did plan a lesson that went over the most frequently missed problems, and we discussed each distractor and the error behind it. Then my kids did work in strategic intervention groups based on their individual performance, but I’m still not sure. I’m holding on to putting LOTS of comments on the quizzes so they can prepare for the tests, but how they will be graded and put into the gradebook is up for discussion. We’ll see what happens at our next department meeting…

1 Comment

Posted by on September 17, 2010 in Assessment, education, Standards Based Grading


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One response to “Quizzes versus Tests

  1. Daniel Balboa

    September 19, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I see a quiz as something light and fluffy. Information getting. But then I also see it as a way to jump start peoples minds like in a “Pop Quiz”. I think little quizzes are always leading up to the main event. The pre planned TEST.


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