Computer Course Testing

As with all other classes that a student will take, testing plays a large role in determining the level of knowledge and skill a student has acquired in their field of study. These usually occur twice per semester, once in the middle of a term and once at the term's conclusion. There may be an additional aptitude or skills test at the beginning of each course to make sure that the student is qualified to learn the information that will be presented throughout the class, although if a student has passed prerequisite classes it is assumed that the student is ready to learn the material that is to follow.

Tests may take a number of forms that depend on the material that has been covered throughout the course. The way a student is tested also varies between instructors. Generally, a test will involve a student's understanding of basic skills, vocabulary, and problem solving skills. Some tests will be conducted in class, although in advanced computer courses, the student is sometimes given days or weeks to work on a complex problem or series of problems at home at his own pace. The submission of the students’ final product will then conclude the course on the final day and students will learn of the results of their efforts via email when the instructor has finished grading.

The grading of tests varies as well. Some professors prefer to use a bell curve where the most outstanding test result is given the highest score and all other students are graded in relation to the quality of this result. Others prefer to use their own grading scale which may be unique to the professor or may operate on a standardized system of points that a student can gain independent of the performance of his or her peers. Regardless of the method, testing is a stressful but significant part of the education process and will be encountered many times throughout a student's educational career.

Comptuer Skills Placement Test Review Sheet

Practice Tests

To help students prepare for upcoming tests, some instructors provide practice tests. These tests may be graded, but scores rarely affect a student's final grade. If this is the case, they may not be required although they are often very useful when a student is studying for a real test.

A good practice test will be very similar to the actual test and will be handed out one or more weeks prior to the actual test. The questions and problems involved on it should seek to challenge a student's understanding of the course material just as a normal test would. Generally, in many computer course practice tests, a student will be asked to explain or solve a problem that is related to the problems on the real test. If a student is required to define vocabulary words on a practice test, then vocabulary of a similar level can be expected on the real test as well.

Bad practice tests are the logical opposite of that and bear little in common with the final exam. They are too easy, too hard, or unrelated to the content of the actual test. Their format may be different as well. A student should not immediately assume that a good score on a practice test will translate to a good score on the real test. An instructor's motivations for creating a test such as this could be to ensure that his or her students have a deep understanding of the subject matter at hand despite what the students' expectations are. Some students don't think this is fair, but it is a common practice.

To ensure that students get the most out of a practice test, they need to read between the lines. They should make note of the general areas covered in the practice test, and see how thoroughly the instructor wishes them to show knowledge in these areas. They should also consult their classroom notes. If there are large sections of notes that aren't represented on a practice test, it would be good to study those as well. There's a chance that the professor may focus on them for the actual test. Notes are often more useful than practice tests when it comes to passing actual tests. A student who takes and reviews good notes should have little problem when final exams come along.

Study Tips

Computer Course Testing

Although advancements in technology have changed many of the aspects of education, the fact that students will be required to study if they wish to do well and pass their classes remains unchanged. Students, especially those taking advanced computer courses, should study at least one to two hours per class session if they want to fully understand the material. Additional studying and review is also recommended before exams and tests.

Some professors like to make the process of studying easier for students. They may hand out study guides to their students so they will know what areas of a subject the instructor feels are most important, and are therefore likely to be included on a test. They may also issue practice tests that may be helpful to their students when it comes to determining the style and content of a real test. The best material for a student to study is the course material such as books and handouts, and the student’s own notes, which should be written in detail during every class.

The key to good studying is to do it with as few distractions as possible. Schools have libraries and computer labs for this purpose. If students find themselves having trouble staying focused while studying in their living quarters, these places might be helpful. Students should also avoid “cramming” or making up for lost study time by intensely studying for a short time before a test. While some students feel it works for them, it has been shown to be ineffective when it comes to retaining knowledge over the long term. It also produces unnecessary stress for the student, who would be more comfortable with the course material if he spent time trying to understand it from the beginning of the class.

Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is a common form of stress that affects almost all students before a test no matter how well they understand the subject matter of the course. Regular studying can help make a student feel more comfortable before a test. Unfortunately, even if a student knows the material well, he may be anxious about not knowing how the instructor will want him to communicate his knowledge. Sometimes this anxiety affects how well a student performs on a test.

The best way to make sure that test anxiety doesn't affect a student's test score is for that student to be familiar with the method and style that the instructor uses and wants on tests. This can be done by taking a practice test if one is offered before an exam. If a practice test isn't available to a student, he may find out about an instructor's testing style by consulting online reviews of a course, or by talking with students who have taken similar computer courses that were taught by the same instructor.

If these options are not available to a student, the best way to feel confident before a test is to have good study methods and practice them throughout the course. Students should be aware that the purpose of testing is to show that a student knows the course material and that most instructors want students to succeed, so they generally won't try to trick students or make them spend time on sections of the course that are not important or that will not be tested. The best way to beat test anxiety is simply to spend enough time with the subject matter so as to feel confident in all the aspects of a course's general content.


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