On taking the theory test

I’ve just done the theory test, following a Module 2C course on Saturday.  (An excellent day, thank you, Graham!)

Happily I passed – but I was somewhat distressed to score five “wrong” answers.  Every one of them was one where I had had to think carefully, not about which answer was “right” – but about which answer was “most right”.  It is, I suppose, the inevitable problem of trying to fit a nuanced “analogue” topic into a stark digital format.

“What is heartening about a practice?” – I avoided the “correct” answer (that they keep coming back) in favour of the “wrong” one – which spoke about the basic reason WHY they keep coming back.  I’ll not give all of the questions away (!) but each one is open to discussion and interpretation.

Among the 30 questions there are, indeed several “digital” questions, but I confess that I was left, feeling just a bit ill-served by a process that doesn’t very well match the infinitely variable challenges of teaching new ringers.  I have no idea what could be done about this – even IF anything could be done – but that’s my twopenny-worth on the experience!

(At least I passed!)

4 thoughts on “On taking the theory test

  1. Christopher Wright Post author

    Yes, I agree entirely that right and wrong is too easy. I thought that was actually what I was trying to say! If we take the example I quoted, I DID think. I DID try to avoid the trite, simple answer and look at the basics behind it.
    Yes, right and wrong is too easy – but we could call that “facile”. A multiple choice test is all about right and wrong – and therein lies the problem. Probably the only way to do these things is an online multiple choice test – I accept that – but it’s not a perfect solution.
    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not moaning about things! I’m just trying to unpick something that just didn’t seem quite right. The system allows for it all after all. If it demanded a 100% score, that would be different.

  2. Jennifer Town

    For what it’s worth, I agree with Chris that for some questions there are a couple of answers that could be construed as correct, but you can only pick one! I found myself thinking “how do you know what I find most satisfying about teaching?” as one example.
    However, it was a really good course and I passed the theory test (before I had looked at the blog) with only two answers “wrong” (both of which I feel were open to discussion as to the chosen correct answer).
    I concede it must be really difficult to set a test where there is supposed to be one correct answer on a subject where we are all different, teachers and learners, and local circumstances may dictate that things are not so clear-cut.

  3. Martin Crick

    We use eLearning and multiple choice tests a lot at work. It’s not necessary (depending on the technology) to have questions that have only one correct answer. Perhaps some of the questions could be changed to accept multiple answers?

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