Exams are an essential element to determine what students have learned throughout an individual course. This tactic tends to work to varying success, depending upon how well the course is taught by each individual teacher. Exams are normally weighted as a significant portion of the grade, but exactly how much should exams be weighed against the rest of the coursework offered?
How Much Should Exams Count for the Final Class Grade
When deciding how much a final exam should count as opposed to the rest of the course work, one could potentially run into one of two problems. If the exam is
worth too little, then it is just irrelevant and it does not work well to measure the studentís performance. However, if the exam is worth too much of a percentage of a final grade, then the opposite is true. Essentially the worth of the course work is invalidated.
There have been times where I have personally attended classes where final exams were ten percent of the final grade which is much too little and others that were upwards to about fifty to sixty percent which is a bit too much.
As we know, it can be a delicate balance to make every bit of course work count for an adequate portion of the grade. When working with, for example, only a thousand points, fitting however many weeks worth of work can be tricky.
The exams need to have an accurate weight towards the class. Where they wonít sink someone who is getting top marks in the class but at the same time, they wonít boost someone up to among the highest level that are struggling. The best exam weight tends to be around thirty percent of the total points of the grade. It is good enough to pull someone right over the borderline, but not so much where it is going to have huge ramifications.
Whether or not exams actually accomplish their intended purposes of determining how much a student is learned can depend on various schools and even various classes. One element that is certain is exams should not weight too much or too little.
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