middle school science final exam

Middle School Science Final Exams

Middle School Science Final Exams

Middle School Science Final Exams: The title of this blog post should really have a question mark (or 5) after it…

Middle School Science Final Exam?????

The question marks are because I really don’t know how I feel about giving these tests in middle school science.

However, I DO administer a final exam to my middle school students. (You can find mine HERE.) 

But let me be real for a second… I give final exams because I have to. My district requires it. 

And honestly, if I weren’t required to, I’d have to take a deeper look at how I feel about final exams.  

👍 These are the benefits of middle school science final exams that I see:
  • Finals really do give a snapshot of students’ content knowledge. It’s a great way for me to see what units I need to improve upon for next year.
  • Final exams encourage students to review and reflect on what they have learned throughout the year. It helps them see how much they’ve really learned.
  • Reviewing for a final exam helps to make some connections between topics that may have been missed throughout the year. So, I find that there are often lightbulb moments that happen just because of the review.
  • This type of cumulative test might help prepare kids for the rigor of high school by exposing them to more formal testing.
👎 But I see some big drawbacks of final exams in middle school science:
  • Students have enough stress from the state testing they have to do.  Do they need more? I vote “no.”
  • The necessary review takes away valuable class time. (And we already lose a lot of class time to state testing.)
  • Final exams overemphasize summative assessments and test grades versus growth in skills.
  • We all know that some kids are not great test-takers, so a big test doesn’t reflect their understanding of the content. If a final doesn’t measure everyone’s growth, is it worth it?

I’m undecided as to the value of final exams for middle school science.

This all being said, I am always interested in hearing other perspectives and learning from my colleagues. So, if you have any thoughts on giving a middle school science final exam or not, I would love to hear back from you!

Email me at [email protected] with your thoughts on final exams in middle school science.

I’ll add your ideas about final exams to this post!

Also, if you are interested in giving final exams, I offer NGSS-based final exams in my shop. I hope you find them useful!

And Let’s Connect!

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