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    #156449 - 05/12/13 08:39 PM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: QT3.1414]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    I "studied" for the GRE essay for as long as it took to read some advice online: Write as much as you can. Just keep writing.

    Formula: Your opening paragraph needs to make your main point and set your tone. Then begin the next paragraph with an idea and fill in details. Lot of details. Repeat. Repeat again. Keep repeating until you have enough time left to write a final summary paragraph. Summarize what you said, and Presto! You are done.

    (Result: Perfect score.)


    Edited by Val (05/12/13 08:39 PM)

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    #156450 - 05/12/13 08:41 PM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: QT3.1414]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: QT3.1414
    I attended the Lycee Francois Mauriac my junior year in high school when I wanted to drop out of HS due to boredom.
    My parents thought the education system might keep me "in line" over there due to my slowly declining motivation for anything. It really was interesting and required an impressive knowledge base where gifted and academically inspired students can thrive if they so choose. There is no such thing as a MC test there.


    My eldest went to a local French school for many years (the teachers were all employed by the French school system and the followed the national curriculum). Their system is quite simply much better than ours.

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    #156451 - 05/12/13 08:42 PM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: QT3.1414]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I rock standardized tests, personally. (nope, no false modesty here... my PSATs, SATs, and GRE's were all pretty much stratospheric and I certainly didn't spend much time on prep, and took them once each)

    I play it like a game, though, and don't worry about "truth" in the conventional sense. I've always just looked for the best answer and not gotten hung up on the right one. wink It's like playing Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit or something-- it's not a test-- it's a GAME.

    I had more fun with the old GRE analytical section than any other single afternoon in my life. VERY sad to see that go. I used to buy GRE prep books just for the (generally lightly used) section with all of those fun logic puzzles in it.

    blush

    DD on the other hand tends to do BEST when she is moving at warp speed. She took her PSAT in about an hour and forty minutes and scored 99th percentile.

    Similarly with the SAT practices she's done so far. Generally she can run through the entire thing in about 2h. The grammar section (the ten minute one?) takes her about 90 seconds flat (for a perfect 14/14 every time).

    The problem is that she makes calculation errors on the math sections when she is moving that fast, so we have to work with her on that. It's a matter of "tuning" things to optimize her scores. If she slows down for the improvement in math, her critical reading scores are likely to drop slightly. Same thing as on the PSAT.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #156455 - 05/12/13 09:14 PM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: QT3.1414]
    QT3.1414 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/09/13
    Posts: 63
    What advice do you have to me?

    You both are very impressive--I envy your ability.

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    #156456 - 05/12/13 09:21 PM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: QT3.1414]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Try going faster. That's the only thing that seems to work for DD.

    Or make it into a game using test-prep materials to test different strategies there. That worked well for me on my GRE's. I finally figured out what they were actually after on those stupid analogies that way.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #156460 - 05/12/13 11:05 PM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: Val]
    SiaSL Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/10
    Posts: 316
    Originally Posted By: Val
    My eldest went to a local French school for many years (the teachers were all employed by the French school system and the followed the national curriculum). Their system is quite simply much better than ours.


    Val, judging the French school system by that school would be like judging the American school system by the American School of Paris. Pretty meaningless in both cases.

    I completely agree about the flaws of the US multiple choice based exam system. I also have a few rants about the shallowness of the essay/debating methods being taught here. But the French system has its drawbacks, which show most glaringly (as in the US MC system) when grading "soft" subjects: grades vary, sometimes a lot (A to F) with the person judging them.
    http://m.lexpress.fr/actualite/societe/b...ote_899958.html


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    #156506 - 05/13/13 08:38 AM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: QT3.1414]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Ahhhh-- like figure skating. Or dog show judging.

    Yes. Well, we have that in the American system, too, sadly. So all in all, I'd say that the French gain more here than we Yanks do-- at least they get something good in exchange for the subjectivity in grading.

    Be careful what you wish for in eliminating that subjectivity, actually... because that leads to rubrics. And if you give a grader a rubric... it's going to need more details. A LOT more details. And once you do that...

    well. You read Val's link, yes?



    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #156575 - 05/13/13 12:40 PM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: QT3.1414]
    QT3.1414 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/09/13
    Posts: 63
    Hi Sia,

    You raise a good point in the inherent subjectivity of all these measurements.

    HowlerKarma,

    I think the largest problem is that standardized exams and educational systems have trouble accountin/ for and engaging with truly gifted students.


    The classrooms and assignments (even in college) appear to cater to the average student rather than the ones seeking to go above and beyond, along with the ambitious gifted students(unless you account for directed study classes).

    Average and below-the-norm students have an easier time than the ones truly seeking knowledge for its own sake.

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    #156578 - 05/13/13 01:04 PM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: QT3.1414]
    Old Dad Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/30/12
    Posts: 423
    I see the OP as a similar problem in our family. My eldest and to a lesser degree my young DS, although both gifted in math, both had great difficulty estimating. It just didn't register with them why one would want to estimate when one can quickly figure out the exact answer. The concept of estimation they had a difficult time grasping.

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    #156579 - 05/13/13 01:05 PM Re: I Really Need Advice on Multiple Choice Testing [Re: SiaSL]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: SiaSL
    Originally Posted By: Val
    My eldest went to a local French school for many years (the teachers were all employed by the French school system and the followed the national curriculum). Their system is quite simply much better than ours.


    Val, judging the French school system by that school would be like judging the American school system by the American School of Paris. Pretty meaningless in both cases.




    France has a single national curriculum. All French schools follow it. If you order distance learning courses from France, you get them from the government and they follow the same curriculum as the schools.

    Teacher quality may vary (though not nearly as much as it does here), but the basic idea is the same in every school in France. My son learned pretty much the same poems and the same math algorithms as kids in Montpelier and Paris and Lille. When French students finish what we call college-bound high school, they all take the same exit exam.

    So while one can talk about differences between individual schools and teachers in France, the system is the same everywhere, and I can compare it. smile

    ETA: Comparability is actually an important part of the French system. With a single national curriculum, people can move and know that CM2 or whatever grade will be the same in the new school as it was in the old school.


    Whereas if there are six private schools and one public district in a single American city or town, they will probably all follow different curricula. Public schools in neighboring towns may have different curricula because of having different school boards.



    Edited by Val (05/13/13 01:11 PM)

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