See your Profology column here. For more information:

Are your exams well focused and consistent? Here's a quick way

  • Are your exams internally consistent?  Are their some questions that the best students get wrong more frequently than the students who actually did worse overall on the test?  You can easily determine this by calculating the correlation between the points earned on a particular question with the overall points earned on the exam. If you want a better focused and more consistent exam, you may want to delete or reword your poorly performing questions. Then a more interesting question arises. After you have calculated the points on an exam, should you use the correlations you generate to reassign points to each question based on its correlation with the overall grade and regrade the exam on that basis before handing the exams back to your students?  Or should you just stick with your original point assignment for the questions even though some have proven to be better questions than others?