Test reviews are crucial to learning

February 7, 2014 — by Michelle Leung and Kelly Xiao

After consulting Aeries, sophomore Amy Zhang slumps in her seat, disappointed. Once again, her score is far lower than expected. She mentally reviews a list in her head. The study guide? Check. The textbook? Check. The old homework problems? Check. So what went wrong? 

After consulting Aeries, sophomore Amy Zhang slumps in her seat, disappointed. Once again, her score is far lower than expected. She mentally reviews a list in her head. The study guide? Check. The textbook? Check. The old homework problems? Check. So what went wrong? 
She is one of the many students who are sometimes left with questions after seeing their test scores. But for one reason or another, she and other students don't get the chance to see the questions they missed. The truth is, reviewing tests should not be regarded lightly because it is crucial to students’ understanding of the material.
According to Dr. Gary Brosvic of Rider University, one of the inventors of the Instant Feedback Assessment Technique (IF-AT), test feedback is a key element of a student’s learning.
“When you work with children, particularly children with disabilities, one of the best things you can do is give them immediate feedback on what they’re doing,” Brosvic told www.epsteineducation.com.
The worst thing of all is if teachers keep tests locked away and never give students the chance to look at them again.
Failing to review tests prevents students from learning from their mistakes in time for the next test or quiz. If  a student thinks she did well, but in reality scored poorly because she misunderstood a concept, then it is of utmost importance that she be given the opportunity to learn from her mistakes.
The idea of the test review is the same principle that students use to study for tests: reviewing information makes material stick.
The best solution for everyone is a combined effort. Most students would prefer to review tests during allotted class time. But many teachers say they can’t afford to sacrifice class time when they need to keep going through the curriculum. Students and teachers need to make sure tests are reviewed — teachers by trying to go over commonly missed problems and students by making time to go in during tutorial to review tests.
Reviewing tests reflects the concept of mastery learning, where students keep working on certain concepts until they completely understand the material.
One problem in many schools is that teachers keep moving on regardless of whether students have grasped the concepts being taught. By going over tests, students can begin to see what they missed and do better the next time — ensuring that learning actually happens.
 
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