Q&A #356

Curving test scores

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From: Cindy (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 18, 1998 at 21:20:38
Subject: Re: Curving test scores

Curving test scores is something I do quite often. My rationale is (are): 1. I goofed - the test was too hard or too soon or too something related to my teaching and presentation. 2. It's a semester exam - too many kids have test phobia. 3. If it's a test on material that should be easy, no curve! 4. If it's a re-test, no curve. 5. The way I curve is by using a simple formula I was given in the Woodrow Wilson Algebra Institute - take the square root of the raw score and multiply by 10. That way, no grade is over 100! A grade of 25 becomes a 50, a 64 becomes an 80, and yes, I use a calculator to do the rest of the work :) 6. An F is an F is an F, so my lowest grade on any test is a 50. Students can recover from a 50, (not many of my students who make a 25 on a test are capable of earning three grades of A to earn a final average of C-) but not from lower scores. 7. I teach 8th grade math and 8th grade Algebra I. I do very little curving in the first class, and curve about 50% of the tests in Algebra. However, all of my students in 8th grade math have the right to retake any test. - Cindy, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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