So everyone talks about and around assessments, but we rarely actually talk directly at them. Concretely. (By the way, I am using “assessments” to mean tests/exams/quizzes.)
Partly because the abstraction of assessing is so much more fun to bandy about than actually looking at assessments. Partly because some of us probably don’t want our assessments floating around in the electronic ether. Partly because assessments as so context dependent — on what you’ve been teaching you’re kids, and where you’re kids are at. And partly because we probably think our assessments all pretty much look the same.
Personally, I’m not as thoughtful about writing exams as some of my colleagues. I see them carefully construct questions, talk about what skills are getting over and under assessed, and overall, go through their exam with a fine tooth comb. I create mine with more general brush strokes. I never really learned how to write an exam.
I figured if people are interested in having a conversation about what a good exam looks like, I’d jump start it here by including a copy of my latest Algebra II assessment.
I’d like you to rip it apart, with suggestions big and small. From spacing and font issues to wording issues to content issues. Or if you’d just like to throw down your process for writing assessments, or types of questions you really like (e.g. “find the mistake!”), or things you try to avoid, do that!
If you want a little more context for my particular assessment, you can see the “topic list” that I gave my students here.