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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