Studying the interplay between semester grades and final exams can help parents and faculty discern learning patterns and potential problems for students. The expected outcome is for the final exam grade to be “within 10” points of the semester grade. When student final exams are within 10 points of the semester grade it indicates the student has performed consistently throughout the semester and has successfully transferred knowledge to long-term memory.
If Final Exam 10+ Points Above Semester Average
On the other hand, if a student tends to “ace” the final at the last minute to save a slumping grade, it may indicate a problem in day-to-day work ethic and focus. Students with this type of pattern may not be performing to their potential until they are in an emergency grade-rescue situation. If many students do well on a particular final exam, it may indicate the teacher has not administered a final exam to properly challenge his/her students.
If Final Exam Is 10+ Points Below Semester Average
If your child consistently scores more than 10 points below his/her semester average on final exams, it might indicate the student has some deficiencies transferring knowledge to long-term memory. If this is a random occurrence, it might just mean the student did not study enough or correctly. In cases where many students to not perform well, it might indicate the final exam was too difficult.
Learning is a dynamic process rooted in social interactions and processes. There are wide ranging approaches to assessing student outcomes, but semester grades can yield valuable information that can be used to address learning challenges as well as to enhance instructional effectiveness. This might be a good time to analyze your child’s report card and apply the “within 10” rule.