Pre- and post-testing are an invaluable part of instruction. The results help both teachers and students become more efficient and reach higher levels of success. Pre- and post-tests are great tools to measure the value of a lesson or program of study. They allow the teacher to analyze results and reflect on the overall effectiveness of the instruction and assignments.
Administering a pretest before starting a new unit of study or topic allows teachers and students to get an understanding of what they already know about the topic. The results allow teachers to use data-driven instruction.
Assessing students before and after a unit is a great way to get students to take responsibility for their own learning. They can see the changes and progress they make from pre- to posttest, adding to their enthusiasm and overall drive to continue to succeed.
Consider these benefits of pre- and post tests:
- They help identify students’ levels of knowledge of the topic. Both the teacher and student gain a snapshot of prior knowledge, skills, and understanding of a topic. This helps pinpoint exactly what students need to master the topic.
- They can help identify which students need more or less assistance. The data shows both the teacher and students which areas need attention, allowing the teacher to build lesson plans and activities that reinforce or challenge all students. Testing can be used throughout the unit to ensure that when the topics shifts the students are reassessed.
- Pre-assessments also highlight student improvement, helping with student ownership of work and engagement in their success. Students gain a running record of starting points and progress made on posttests. This allows them to know what they need to focus on to make improvements. Teachers can monitor students’ progress and needs the same way.
Pre- and post testing are beneficial for both teachers and students. Assessments put students on the road to success by preparing them for the objectives ahead, and they provide a clear record of their improvement and overall learning success.
Do you use pre- and post tests in your classroom? What do you find most useful about them?