Test Corrections

I've been doing SBG for a few years now but for me it only makes a difference in my grade book. Each year I have less than a handful of students who come in to retake any part of their test. It's more of an organizational tool for me than it is for the students. I don't know how to change this.

In reference to my last post on interventions, I'm thinking test corrections may be a better way for students to earn credit. I was reading through some of my old posts and found this link from @crstn85's blog. I like what she does a lot and I plan to use her idea and template.

There are some questions I'd like to pose to you. I've read about two different methods.
  1. Test corrections earn back half of the points missed. 
  2. Test corrections raise their grade to a 70% which is passing but not proficient.
  • What if corrections are not correct? It seems like it would be easier to determine a grade using method 1. Or should I not accept them until they are correct?
  • Are test corrections a way to show student learning? I'm working off this paragraph from an earlier blog post from a conference with Randy and Sue Pippen:
 "Their policy on grading was to make it count. Don't punish them for practicing. If I collect,  then they should have the opportunity to correct. They pointed out that the United States culture has taught kids as long as it's done, I'm done. Work is not done until it's correctly done. They did mention that they thought homework was important (which I am agreeing with less and less) but that it should be recorded and reported, not graded. They hit upon the fact that we all have students in our class who cannot do math. How did they get there? They have been passed along on their inflated grades thanks to homework completion and participation points. These types of grades are not informative. "  Would test corrections inflate grades too?
  •  Would more students participate in this method rather than retakes? I like the idea of correcting our tests together as a class the first time so they know how the process works. But maybe if I would have done that with retakes, I would have had more participation. I like that this method can be done outside of class without me but then again they could just copy someone's test that got the problems correct. I could avoid that by keeping all the tests but that requires more of my space and time.

  • Would this method motivate students to do work correctly the first time? I'm thinking if I required test corrections from students who did not pass, it might help them try harder the first time since I'm sure they will hate writing explanations. On the other hand, they might try less because they know they have a second chance. But the second chance is for only half the points.
  • How would test corrections increase learning? One way is being able to analyze your own work and identify errors. A second way is being able to communicate those errors in writing. A third way would be redoing the problem a second time. But if they still redo it incorrectly, will that have more of a negative impact?


  1. I've gone back and forth between corrections for credit vs. corrections as a requirement to retake. I'm currently doing retakes but I think both have benefits. Either way I've never had an issue with kids blowing off the first test since they can fix it later.

  2. I don't do test corrections, however I do quiz corrections. If they completely redo all the questions missed on the quiz(es) and turn them in the day of the test, I will replace the quiz grade with the higher test grade. This way they can learn from the mistakes and study them prior to the test. Now I am not creating an obscene amount of versions to each test and I put the ball in their court giving them the option to improve from day one.

    1. Thanks for sharing your method. Do they redo the quiz or just write in their corrections? Do you have them write out their mistakes as well?

      I can't decide what I want to do yet. I want students to have a chance to show what they've learned and regain credit.

  3. They have to show all work on a separate paper as if taking the quiz again. Keeping in mind this is all honors classes, I don't need to review them that much since they figure out the mistakes immediately after getting them back. Any student still having issues can see me during tutoring afterschool. This way they have a chance to improve the low grade, I don't have to come up we multiple versions of quizzes and tests, and I don't really have to grade quizzes/tests more than once. The test is their final opportunity to prove they have learned the material. I always make note in the gradebook comments what the original quiz grade was so they can see how much improvement was made with the studying and corrections.

  4. For the last couple of years I have allowed my students to make test corrections but not quiz corrections. They have to do every problem they missed on a separate sheet of paper. If they miss one I give it back and when they're all correct they get back half the points they missed. For the kids that actually turn them in it does help but sadly the kids that really needed to make corrections don't. We discuss how they can get the answers correct(tutoring,working with a partner,using notes,quizzes or practice test) so if they don't do it then I feel that the failing grade it's justified.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Why do you choose not to allow quiz corrections?

      I've also been thinking that test corrections would save me time because I would no longer need to write the correct answers on the test for them. Do you give them feedback on what they missed or just mark it wrong and have them figure out where they messed up? Do you think students get tests from other students and just copy or do you keep all tests?

    2. Hi! Just saw your reply a month later. Haha.

      I don't allow quiz corrections since I am keeping them accountable for what we've learned over the week. Tests are comprehensive so I understand more if something has been forgotten.

      I just mark test problems wrong and they have to work at finding the right answers themselves. If they turn in corrections and it is still wrong I make a little note to help them.

      I'm sure some students copy but I have a couple of versions and can usually tell which students did the work and which didn't.

      Have you decided on a policy you want to implement next year?

    3. I have no idea what I want to do next year. This year I have a study hall type class where I can pull kids in and work with them but next year I have double the preps and I don't have that study hall. I want to do something where students can earn back their credit on their own, without me. I can't decide if I should offer it on just quizzes, just tests, or both. I'm also wanting to try interactive notebooks but can't decide if I want to let them use those on quizzes or tests or both or neither. I'm going to survey my students and try to get some ideas.