Sunday, 13 September 2015

eMCAT Creating History

This week 12000+  secondary students in New Zealand sat their first digitally assessed exam.

One Auckland school had 350 students complete digital mcat and by all accounts things ran pretty smoothly.

However the trusty pen still rules in 2015. All students are sitting the paper version this week.  

In this post there are links to access the digital versions of the paper, videos of worked solutions (EOE) and a few thoughts about preparing students for exams in general.

The 2 mcat papers can be found on the NZQA Maths & Statistics Page along with all past papers

Subash Chandar K worked his magic Friday afternoon and recorded solutions for the 
Day 1 paper.

This is a great example of how in NZ we can make use of technology to bring teachers together, innovate & share for the benefit of all students.  After 24 hours hours there had been 600+ views. I will be interested to see what this number will be by Thursday.

While looking up the link to add Subash's video to this post I found that Mr Eisener from Rosmini College has also shared videos for the Day 2 version in 3 separate videos. Here is Question 1. A quick YouTUbe search will reveal the other 2

These two teachers have got me inspired to make more use of video technology. 

Thinking about the November exams, another great source of video tutorials and support for NCEA Maths & Science externals is the LearnCoach site 

Writing exams is not just about skills & knowledge around content it is also about skills & knowledge of how to tackle an exam.
How do we prepare our students for tackling their exams?
I have gathered a few ideas here that might be useful.

Ian McHale a Science Facilitator at Team Solutions created this Pecha Kucha around discussion we had on externally assessed standards.

Students do not come to exams & leave early for all sorts of reasons. It is also worth having conversations with students about the logistics of the day.   Conversation starters might include
  • Have they got the date, time & place of the exam correct?
  • Can they get to the exam on time ? 
  • Have they had something to eat? If not they might leave simply because they are hungry.
  • Is the exam on the day they normally work or have to pick up younger brothers or sisters after school? Have they organised to have the time off  or do they need help to make that happen?
and finally

3 things for teachers to do before external exams. 
  1. Look at past papers & students exemplars for A M E from previous years. 
  2. Read Exam specifications for 2015. These documents have special notes for the exam, further clarifications of the standard & a list of equipment the students shold bring to the exam. 
  3. Read Assessment Reports for previous exams. These reports are useful for noting what students did at N A M E that year. The other comments section offers an insight into what students should focus on. 
These documents are in the resources for externally assessed standards on the NZQA Mathematics & Statistics Page  


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