When to give the test

We are in a weird situation this week in NJ because all schools are closed on Thursday and Friday due to the NJEA state convention.  Combine that with election day on Tuesday (which my school is closed for due to some schools being polling locations) and we have a 2 day week.  Oh yeah, and Wednesday is the last day of the marking period.  So this week is really bizarre.

I don’t like to give a major assessment on the last few days of the marking period because that is usually when everyone else gives one.  I don’t see a reason to burden my students with one more assessment so I always close my gradebook a few days early.  But, as is typical this year, life got in the way.

Early in the week, I was asked to attend at district wide meeting on implementing Google Apps in all of the schools on Thursday.  This would not allow me to do my typical test review so I moved the test to Monday and the review to Friday.  Then my meeting got cancelled so my students reviewed.  On Thursday night, my son was running a 102 fever which meant he couldn’t go to school on Friday so I stayed home with him.  This of course meant the review game was off, but the test was still Monday.  I emailed all of my students on Thursday night to tell them I wouldn’t be in school and to tell them all of the answers for the review sheet were posted on the website.

As my students walk in today, some of them are surprised we are still having the test.  Some wanted me to push the test back to Wednesday.  I finished teaching the material on Tuesday and had them review for three full days.  Over the weekend I received exactly 1 email asking questions about the content of the test.

I am sure that some of the nervousness comes from uneasiness about the material, but there is little more that I can do to prepare them.  So, when is the right day to give the test?  How many students complaining about not being ready warrants pushing the test back?  What if one class wants the test moved, but another class wants to take the test?  Is it ok to give a test on different days to different classes?

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4 thoughts on “When to give the test

  1. Jennifer Smith-Sloane

    I see the dilemma that is being posed but I do think you gave them quite enough time to review. I have had the same issues with some student's not feeling “ready” for the test and then asking for it to be moved for this reason or another but I do feel that as long as I have given them a week's notice for a test, they should have adequate studying/reviewing time.

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  2. MSeigel

    thank you for your comments, Jennifer. I always announce my tests a minimum of 1 week in advance. The class that complained the most had a 72 average on the test. The others had no less than an 80 with 6 kids scoring over 100%. When I asked class A about what we can do differently, they basically said they want more hand holding. Their comments were more examples that I walk them through, fewer problems where they have to figure it out on their own, and to go slower with the material. I don't like any of their suggestions, but if it will help them get better I will start there and slowly build them up.

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  3. Miss Cheska

    It is okay to give tests on different days for different classes. My core classes are ability-grouped. Just this week I gave a test on Tuesday to Groups A and B, and I gave an extra review day for Group C. They took their test today. I differentiate the content and process, but tests are standard across board as per admin mandate.

    There is an end of test survey on my assessments; my kids basically gave the same suggestions as yours and I don't like it either.
    What else can I do on top of what I am already doing? I gave them 1.5 weeks notice of the test, a study guide packet and 2 in class reviews, and several study sessions during lunch and study hall. I've even emailed parents about the test and provided website links to use to study with their kids!

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  4. CRS

    On a totally different point, one of the teachers in my school believes that test days are the best days to be absent… I'm not sure how I feel about this, since he's right that maybe we *should* make them figure it out on their own, but I also feel like sometimes I don't explain myself well enough and need to do that on the test day.

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