Faculty Blog: How do you review for exams?

As the first round of exams arrives, share how you get your students ready.  Do you post old exams and solutions?  Ask students to write questions?   What works best to help students feel prepared?

One comment on “Faculty Blog: How do you review for exams?”

  • Janice Glime
    October 2, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    In my first-term biology for majors course, I asked the students to design an exam that they felt covered what I had taught. I encouraged them to be creative by asking questions that applied the knowledge. I provided old tests in the lab manual and told them to make essay questions and fill-in-the-blank questions. I reserved the right to ask up to 10% additional questions if I felt some topics had not been covered, and I could reword some questions to make them clearer. The students worked in groups that met in the learning center, and they were asked to each bring a set of questions and the group would discuss them. They also submitted answers to their own questions. I can’t remember now if they ultimately submitted a group set or only the individual sets.
    Initially I had them submit their tests to me by email and I forwarded all the questions to the whole class. That took a lot of my time, so I changed to having them put the questions in the learning center where classmates could access them there. I think I also have tried having the students submit questions to the class directly by email.
    The students really liked doing this – they said it removed the anxiety of their first college test in their major. I think they also learned more because they discovered what they couldn’t remember by just rereading their notes. And it also prepared them for more appropriate study methods for subsequent tests without having to submit questions. Most students did not know how to study effectively when they arrived here.

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