Hi there. In this education post, I cover the topic about the existence of unfair tests that students face.
The motivation behind this post was based on recent stories and experiences from high school students from my work in educational services. I also provide some of my own experiences as a former math student.
Tests & Exams Can Contain Anything
When it comes to tests and exams I do have mixed thoughts on it. Tests are one way to determine where the student is at in terms of knowledge, skill, memory and/or understanding. There are some people who are good test takers and there are some who are not great test takers. Some tests are all multiple choice, some have are short answer tests, some require essay writing on the spot and there are some tests that contain a mixture. For large class sizes in the hundreds, tests in the multiple choice format with scantron sheets to fill in bubbles are common as they are time efficient.
Test and exams can be unpredictable in terms of content. The questions in theory should contain topics that were covered in class. This would be fair. There may be a few challenging extension type questions that require some creative out of the box thinking to solve problems. Maybe the hard questions are there to limit the number of A+ students.
Review Questions May Not Be Helpful
I had a recent case where a student mentioned that the review questions as final exam prep were not actually related to the final exam. She claimed that the math final exam contained topics that were not related to class. There are a few possibilities with this case. The teacher that taught the (math) course may not have written the final exam. It could be a department head person that may have written the final exam for all teachers teaching the math course. There is a chance that the review package and course contents are not closely related to course objectives. There is also the case where a final exam was made to be insanely difficult to test students on how they manage stress and how they manage unusual questions. Even if a final exam does end up being up different to a review package student should definitely use the review package for final exam preparations.
Graded On A Curve
In the event that most or all students performed poorly on a test or exam, scores may be adjusted or graded on a curve. If an average math test score is at a 45% from 30 people where 18 people failed the teacher may bump everyone's score by 20%. Students may receive their grades depending on how they do relative to their peers. The best mark may get A+, the next 5 people get As (85%) or A- (80%) and so on. You never really know what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to grading. Students do benefit from being graded on a bell curve but should not rely on it.