Monday, February 15, 2010

The Test of the Future

A major trend in secondary (and, for all I know, primary and college) education is to downplay the acquisition of factual knowledge in favor of such things as "critical thinking," "relevance," and catering to supposed "learning styles." In a short time--perhaps already--we may expect to see certain modifications in traditional tests--insofar as "tests" are given at all, there also being some feeling among those advocating "alternative assesment techniques" that expecting students to know things is really quite an obsolete notion. Here is my contribution to more "user-friendly" examinations, a presage of what forms of traditional evaluation may survive into the next decade.


EUROPE 1870-1945 (Senior Elective) / Dr. Libby
Final Exam, Winter Term / 20 Points

ESSAY. (4 points)

Write at least three sentences (or fragments) showing that Adolf Hitler was not a nice man.
(If you prefer, you may write about Joseph Stalin).

CHRONOLOGY. Arrange these important battles of World War I in the order they occurred by numbering them from 1 to 5 (1 being the earliest event, 2 the second, 3 the third, and so on all the way to 5, which is the last.) ( 5 pts.)

____ The 9th Battle of the Isonzo

____ The 3rd Battle of the Isonzo

____ The 7th Battle of the Isonzo

____ The 11th Battle of the Isonzo

____ The 5th Battle of the Isonzo

TRUE/FALSE. (1 point each.)

____ Russia is bigger than Belgium.

____ Benito Mussolini was Italian.

____ Germany and Japan lost World War II.

____ Many people died in World War I

____ Belgium is not bigger than Russia

IDENTIFICATIONS. Do any one. Skip any four. ( 4 points.)

1. The Battle of Caporetto

2. The Blomberg-Fritsch Crisis

3. The Beer Hall Putsch

4. The Reichstag Fire

5. Your mother

GEOGRAPHY. (2 pts.) Put these items on the accompanying map of Europe, using the numbers.

1. Land

2. Water

Note: If this test is too "high stakes"--if it gives you a headache, causes convulsions, or induces a negative self-image--you may instead write 500 words on the topic "What hockey means to me." Note that for "hockey" you may substitute "soccer," "figure skating," or "Ritalin."

Kinesthetic students may, instead of taking the test, perform an interpretative dance on the Battle of Verdun or the Stock Market Crash.


1 comment:

  1. Okay, that was brilliant.

    I've been out of school so long, but I might have a hope of passing that test :)