Preparing To Run A Class Examination

This article is the first in a series of two, designed to give the teacher all they need to create an efficient and smooth environment for the examination. This first article concentrates on two areas. The first is what the teacher needs to do to prepare to run the examination. The second sets out what the teacher must do to set up their room to run that examination.

Teacher Preparation:

The teacher must:

    Ensure you have extra exam papers to cover any misprints.
    Have more writing paper/examination booklets than you think you need. Providing writing paper ensures all students have paper and this same size paper makes storage of script much easier.

    Have a supply of pencils, biros, erasers, rulers, calculators and so on in reserve (to prevent the need to borrow).
    Have a stapler available to staple examination papers together. An electric one is best. Make sure there is a supply of extra staples.
    Ensure you have worked the test before you administer it to check for any errors in printing or in the actual wording of the questions and that the time available is enough to do the test for the majority of the students. The advice I got from an experienced teacher early in my career was to multiply your time by three as a guide for the time the students would take.
    Make sure the timing allows you 5 minutes to start the test and 5 minutes to collect the test at the end of the lesson. That will enable you to decide your test time.
    If you cannot set the room up before the time of the test you'll need to write a shorter test to enable you time to set up the room in exam mode.

Room Preparation

General ideas:

The teacher must:

    Make sure the clocks in the room work; are on the same correct time and are visible to all students.
    Use the board to write any corrections, additions or extra instructions. You could also put down time intervals on the board as they go by.

When single person desks are used:

The teacher must:

    Spread out the desks across as well as up and down the room to give students maximum room in which to work. This will also help the teacher prevent or watch for cheating.

When two person desks are used:

These are the strategies to adopt:

    If you have a large class, you will need to spread out the desks as much as you can.
    To make cheating more difficult you can sit students at each desk on the opposite side of their desk facing each other. This means to cheat they have to read upside down and this cannot be done easily or quickly and is easy for an observant teacher to spot. The students must also write down the name of the student sitting next to them so you can check/mark their papers together to ensure no cheating has occurred.
    If this is not an option, have every student write the name of the students on either side of them so you can check for cheating when you mark their papers. Collect the exam papers in rows and this will help facilitate the checking for cheating.
    You may set a parallel test so that each alternate student gets a different test.

Other Issues To Consider:

They include:

    Write times in 10 minute intervals on a board and mark them off as the time goes by.
    If you have time before the lessons starts, place the exam papers and writing paper face down on each desk.
    If there is no time to do this, give out the ruled writing paper first. Have the students write their name and your name on these sheets while you place the exam paper face down on their desks.


Many of these issues you might see as automatic. However, during the stressful time of examinations, it is easy to get distracted and forget something you need to do. So, if you are new to organizing examinations, create, for yourself, a check list, to help you create an efficiently run examination.

Article Source: Richard D Boyce

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