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Topics to be addressed in workshop - HAPS Calgary meeting - June 2004

Exam Preparation and Grades:

A System for Addressing Questions, Challenges and Problems

Augustine G. DiGiovanna, Salisbury University, Maryland 

Questions answered, challenges met and problems solved


1.      Before the exam – for ease, efficiency, and adaptibility

a.   Making exams that cover the material but have a predetermined number of points

b.   Making exams fit the time allowed

c.   Making exams for different sections equivalent in value

d.   Making exams proportionate in value to the amount of material required for the exam

e.   Adjusting the size or value of exams when the semester gets off schedule (usually behind schedule)

f.    Adding or deleting exams during the semester

2.      After the exam – for accuracy and fairness

a.  Making the grades representative of their meaning (e.g., defined by you or your institution)

b.  “Curving”

c.  Adjusting for bad questions

d.  Adjusting for unusual test conditions

e.  Allowing for “extra credit” questions

f.   Adjusting for differences among different sections

g.  Adjusting for legitimate student feedback and constructive criticisms 

3.      Make-up exams – for ease and equity

a.  Preparing make-up exams with the same number of points as the original exam

b.  Equating performance on a make-up exam with performance on the original exam

4.      Calculating grades – for clarity, predictability, and accuracy

a.  Informing students of their level of achievement all during the course 

b.  Informing students of  what they have to “get on the next tests” or “get on the final exam” to end up with a specific grade

c.  Determining an accurate and precise numerical value for each student regardless of how well or how poorly a student does during the semester


Factors for which I make adjustments


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© Copyright 2004 A.G. DiGiovanna, Salisbury University, Maryland. All rights reserved.