Preparing for today’s lesson: Today’s test will ask students to solve a wide variety of problems without a calculator of any sort. There is room on the test itself for students to show their work, but I always permit them to use some extra paper for scratch work. Since I will examine their work in order to award partial credit for incorrect answers, it is up to the students whether or not to turn this scratch work in with their test.
Please see the video, The Basic Skills Test, for some more details on the nature of this test.
Beginning the test: As students enter, they are instructed that they will need just a pencil, eraser, and some scratch paper. No calculators are permitted on today’s test. As soon as desks are clear and everyone is present, hand out the test and remind the class that they have the full 45 minute period in which to complete it, but they will not have any additional time.
I like to let the class know how much time is remaining a few times during the test so that they can pace themselves. Also, I am happy to answer any questions that help students to understand what they are being asked to do, but I never provide any help or hints regarding how to do it. Other than that, I just keep an eye on the students to make sure everyone’s keeping their eyes on their own work.