Field of Science

Unneeded Exam

The semester is progressing, and the Phactor is pretty much on schedule in one of his favorite classes, which makes me wonder what I inadvertently left out , and the third exam is coming up. Now it takes a couple of hours to write a good exam; no multiple guess questions, just queries, explanations, and hypotheses to evaluate on blank paper. But evaluating these exams, carefully and fairly, even for a class of just 24, takes hours and hours. And after the first two exams it's mostly it's a waste of time.

This assertion is based upon a couple of decades of data. After two exams grades can be assigned with about 85% accuracy. The senior sliders have identified themselves, as have those students who do not miss a trick. There is little chance either group will change. However a couple of those in the middle will continue to improve, and every now and then the wheels completely fall off for someone, usually the result of something in their personal lives that affects their academics, and the results are a real tragedy. But the assessment for most is accurate after just two samples.

However the sampling will continue, and presumably the assessment will asymptotically improve its accuracy.

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