Thursday, 1 November 2018

Study and Success

Today I returned the Year 9 exams to the students - but not before I recorded their data!

I thought it would be interesting to count the total number of questions each student completed during their opportunity to complete a practice exam during class time. 

This is a time-honored study technique. Students attempt practice questions on the material they know they'll be tested on, then get some feedback on it to 1) build their confidence (100% correct already), 2) expand their understanding (getting there) or 3) to fill any gaps in their understanding (unsure).

The practice exam I made for students had sections that exactly mirrored the real one they would sit the next week. The questions only differed a little!

There was a study doc that also matched the practice exam with revision activities, videos, etc, for students to visit and find answers, and I was very happy to help when they asked any questions. 

Anyway. Students took varying advantage of this across two lessons, despite my constant circling of the classroom.

Here is the scatter graph of the number of completed questions that I provided feedback on (or were correct but without feedback - I had to include this second category because the student represented by the dot in the top right corner took the practice exam home to study off):

My conclusion was that as a student increases the number of questions they study, the data shows that their number of correct answers in the exam also increases. 

The equation on the top right says that for each 1 extra question studied, students were likely to get 0.741 more questions right on the real exam. 

This is a nice gradient; the payoff for studying 1 - 2 more questions is to (mostly likely) get at least 1 more question right in the test!

There is one obvious outlier up the top in the middle, where a student studied only 10 questions on the practice exam but got 24 right in the real exam! Maybe they studied at home?

One unlucky person is also about the same distance from the trend line as the student mentioned above. They studied 16 questions but only got 5 right on the exam. Perhaps they were only copying out answers -words and shapes of letters-, rather than trying to understand why the answer was that, while they were studying.

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