Do you let students talk during tests?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by orangepurple, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Nov 13, 2011

    I have always assumed that there should be no talking during tests, and usually, I can enforce that. This year, however, two of my 7th grade classes seem to think that is the craziest idea ever. In one class, I had a couple of kids who had a lot of trouble with this. Each time, I would end up taking away their tests, calling home, and letting them take the test after school. Finally, that class seems to be getting the concept, but now another class is resisting. I am talking about the kids who can't seem to resist just random remarks or singing, plus the ones who are whispering but keep insisting that they just had to ask someone for an eraser or a new pen or whatever, and then the ones who start a big argument trying to stick up for their friends whose tests I have just taken away.
    Don't you think that seventh graders could be quiet for 20 minutes to take a test?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Absolutely, yes. My classroom is rarely quiet, but during a test it is.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Talking is against the rules.

    The line I've used lately is "If you want a positive number as a test grade, I suggest you stop talking."

    I get a quick laugh and the room is silent.
     
  5. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Yes, 7th graders can be quiet for a 20 minute test.

    My first graders can do it, if I spread them out.
     
  6. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    No (I don't let students talk during a test).
    Yes (I think 7th graders can be quiet for 20 minutes).
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Are they allowed to talk during state testing?


    It is prohibited during ours so I tell my kids that is how we practice for the state test.
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    My class is rarely quiet but absolutely during a test it is. I always remind them of the consequences of talking during the ACT or OGT since I have mostly high schoolers.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Third graders are expected to be quiet during tests....why wouldn't that expectation be reasonable in 7th grade? Believe me, yours is NOT the first time these students have been expected to be silent during tests ( or other independent work time). They are testing you...have consequences that are uncomfortable. I would take the test away, grade it and count what isn't done, give them a NEW test after school and average both grades. Plus a call home. Repeat offenders maybe get the test taken with no chance for a retake.
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Ask around...is there another teacher who lets them talk? Talk to him or her and ask why.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Zero voices.
     
  12. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    I have a similar problem with one of my classes. The problem is that it is so widespread throughout the class that if I took up tests for talking, over half of the class would fail the test. Honestly, that's fine with me because it would teach them a lesson they obviously need to learn; however, the scores on these tests are seen by district-wide administrators and reflect significantly on me as a teacher. Improved passing rates are a must, and an entire class failing would definitely not look good when the scores were looked at by people outside the classroom. :confused:
     
  13. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Thanks for all of the responses so far! Sometimes I feel like some of my students are trying to convince me they have Tourette's or some other disability that makes it impossible for them to be quiet, but this was the first time I had 6 kids in one class get their tests taken away from them. I got one of them to return after school to take it, but the others all say they can't come to detention, and I was not successful in reaching any of their parents! None of the phone numbers listed on the roster worked. Not one.
     
  14. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Those grades will improve.... right after you show them the consequences! I know, I know, things aren't that simple. But wouldn't it be nice if they were?
     
  15. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    then I would give them a zero for the test.

    I actually would have given them a zero at the time I took the test from them for talking during a test.
     
  16. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    My second graders can be quiet, so it should not be a big deal for the seventh graders to be quiet. I think you may need to take away their tests and give them a zero just once and see if that stops the behavior...
     
  17. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    My first and second graders have managed to sit through almost an hour of test taking so seventh graders definitely should be able to do 20 minutes.
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I teach 7th graders. They really do think they need to talk. Often they do, but not during the test. this year I have classes of 35. They really want to talk during the test. I don't allow it. Mine can even manage to take the monthly test that takes the whole class period test silently. We have 90 minute classes.
     
  19. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    For my students there is always the initial warning of no talking. After that if it is something I deem unnecessary, I walk around the room with a pen and will mark a point off at the top of their test. If it continues, I have taken entire tests or sent students out of the room to finish the test.
     
  20. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I agree with Ms. I - give them a "0" on the test. Once the kids see you are serious about consequences and that there IS NO "wiggle room" or excuses accepted, they will get the message. You can always drop their lowest test grade at the end of the grading period so the "0" doesn't hurt your evaluation due to low test scores.

    I had a rule during my ST; If you do it in pen, you do it again. The rule had been in effect the entire time, but I didn't really enforce it until a spent a weekend grading papers in neon pink, green, yellow and purple ink. That Monday, I told the students there would be no more exceptions to the rule. That week, two girls handed in homework done in red ink. I gave them each a "0". When they got their papers back, they asked why they got a "0" and I answered they knew perfectly well they weren't supposed to do their work with a pen. I said "It really is a shame, because you both would have made 100 instead of 0 if you had done the work in pencil, like you're supposed to." They asked if they could re-do the assignment and I said yes. By the end of the period, I had both papers - in pencil - in my hand and changed their grade. I also did not have any other student do their work in pen after that.

    I do not allow talking at all during a test - period. I tell the students that if two of them are talking, I have no choice but to automatically assume they are helping each other or sharing answers, therefore, they will BOTH receive a "0" on the test and will NOT be allowed to make it up.

    If they try excuses about needing a pencil, eraser, piece of paper, etc, I simply ask them how long they have been attending school. Since they've been coming to school for at least 7 years, they should know by now that they ALWAYS need a pencil (with eraser), paper and their books every single day in every class. So don't tell me "I didn't know we would need it today", because that excuse will just be met with withering sarcasm and no sympathy.

    I had some difficult students in my 6th grade classes last year, but they still managed to stay quiet during the entire period when testing. They would be so quiet, in fact, that I began tuning in to either a classical or cool jazz station on Pandora and playing that for some background noise.
     
  21. bondo

    bondo Cohort

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    Nov 15, 2011

    Absolutely zero tolerance for talking during a test. I tell them no talking before every test. I add that any person caught talking during the exam will have their test taken away and thrown away in the trash can in front of everyone. Talking happens once or twice each class and then everyone gets it. I think the visual of getting your test thrown out, and the peer pressure makes them stop quickly.
     
  22. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I have a zero tolerance too, but they STILL talk. I put checks on their test to inform them they lost 10 points. Some of the kids throw their tests or flip their desk. This is a constant battle with me too.
     

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