Quick Tips for Writing Tests

  • Create a few exam questions after each class. You are more likely to design an exam that reflect the central topics of the course.

  • Avoid trick questions.

  • Give clear instructions and indicate point values for each question.

  • To minimize cheating in large classes, create multiple versions of a test, with the same questions in a different order. Make students aware, so they won’t be tempted to copy another student’s test.

  • Avoid student anxiety by testing frequently instead of only giving a mid-term and a final.

  • Students take longer to answer questions than you do. To design an exam that is a reasonable length, allow for students to spend about four times as long as it takes you.

  • Take the test yourself to make sure you are asking what you intend to ask.
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