Weighing the fairness and validity of an exam

A fellow blogger (current nursing student) over at Scrubs Magazine posted an interesting topic about exam results, graded curves and poor outcomes. I thought I’d share.

Is the test to blame?

We’ve all had good test. We’ve all had those tests where you’re not sure how it went, but it couldn’t have been that bad. And we’ve had those tests that were just no good. And by “no good” I typically mean that the class average was a B or something along those lines.

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So when the tests get handed back for review, everyone pounces on the teacher to have questions reconsidered, have their answers considered, and to make sure the professor has understood what thought process went through their head.

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I guess in nursing we don’t have that warning. I just think that if a group of collectively intelligent students are not scoring high on an exam, there’s more to it than a lack of knowledge, yes?

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Nursing students – what happens in your classes when tests go wrong? Are your professors lenient? Should they be?

Original post: Is the test to blame? | Scrubs Magazine

Follow the link to read the full post and ‘weigh’ in on the subject. I for one think we as nurses have a tendency to reduce ourselves (I’m guilty of it too)  to a letter grade (when we clearly are not). Of course we all want to excel, but a test grade does not equate into the quality of nurse you are or will be.

I do have to say that currently in grad school I have a professor that utilizes the most fair means of evaluating exams. He has the exam questions individually analyzed (not sure if this is a common thing or not). He looks at the overall % of performance for each question. If a specific question showed a majority of incorrect answers he feels that the he did not convey the material properly or the wording of the question may have been misleading. In essence he takes the blame and he ‘throws’ that question out.

Hop on over to the original post and leave a comment for Ani.

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