This is not the front page

Using an Exam as a Learning Tool

directions for using an exam for learning. Described in text
Photo Credit

Credit: © Penn State is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 

Students first take the exam independently, and then, during the same class period and before seeing their results, they get into groups of 4 to 5, discuss the exam problems, and retake the same exam as a group. Each student chooses whether or not to complete and submit a second exam. Students have the option of simply accepting their original, independent exam score only, if they wish. For students choosing to submit a second time, the exam attempts are weighted so that the first attempt is worth 70% of the total and the second attempt is worth 30% of the total.

This activity provides some agency on the part of students and fosters collaboration as well as cohesion of the classroom community. The activity also helps students look to each other for answers instead of relying solely on the instructor and may replace classroom time during which instructors must review misunderstood concepts for the benefit of just a few students. This method has been shown to increase median exam scores. 


This activity can be executed via Zoom, if necessary, with the use of breakout rooms for student discussions.