Final exams are today and tomorrow.
AP Physics: Mini AP Exam
Since I mostly give short, weekly assessments, finals are a good time to give my students something longer. The other AP Physics teacher and I modified a practice exam to cut the content we haven’t covered yet and get it down to 90 minutes. This is their first assessment with a time limit, so I’m curious to see how they do with pacing.
Physics: Two-Stage Exam
The other physics teacher and I agreed on a hybrid approach to the final. The first half, worth 75% of the exam grade, is a pretty traditional written final with some problems from throughout the trimester. The second half, worth 25% of the exam grade, is a lab practical that students are completing with a partner. During the lab portion, I overheard several groups talking about whether their answer is reasonable and how they know, which got me really excited since students have struggled to connect physical meaning to the math this year.
Chemistry Essentials: Written Exam
I’m giving a pretty traditional written exam. My students said they were hoping for multiple choice, but I stuck with short answer so the questions will read more like the other assessments they’ve taken. A few of my students are annoyed because they say multiple choice is easier, but I have never had it go well when I suddenly use multiple choice at the end.
Pretty consistently when I teach this course, all of my students finish with about 30 minutes left in the final block, regardless of the length of the test. As usual, I had a significant number of students who left large portions of the test blank. I think my finals in this course run short not because I don’t make them long enough, but because a lot of students have trouble focusing on a written test for 90 minutes (honestly, I have trouble focusing on a written test for 90 minutes). This reinforces that it is worth moving away from a traditional final in this course.