As we don’t have many exam questions other than in the SAMs (and text books if you have them) some people have created their own practice questions for GCSE. However this following suggestion is work-light and hopefully also has learning benefits for students.
I tell the students which type of question they will be asked about. In this instance, AQA GCSE religious studies 4/5 mark questions. I gave them the question stem “Explain two……” (I didn’t worry about the contrasting/influences/similarities on this example) and then they had their specification in front of them for the topic they were writing about, in this case Theme D.
I reminded them they can only ask questions as per the specification; nothing that isn’t listed in the topics will come up….
I then use Socrative app using Ipads. There may well be others that can do similar but I use the ‘short answer’ feature. They don’t need log-ins other than my ‘room number’ on my account. It’s simple to use and quick.
I’ve already explained the task so don’t need massive detail…
Allowing unlimited responses means that they can keep submitting answers. I put them in pairs or teams and get them to write a name for their team, this means that any stupid or inappropriate answers can be identified. Some teenagers love to think they’re comedians…
I then press ‘start’ and they submit as many answers a they can. I don’t show their responses on the board, so they don’t copy each other and so they don’t deliberately write stupid things for a public audience. I then allow as much time as appropriate; as long as they are still typing and the answers are still sensible.
I then get the answers emailed to me or you can download. It’s quick.
The ‘results’ come on an excel spreadsheet. You can go through them as a group if you want. If I run it as a competition, (which group can come up with the most viable, different answers) I put them on the whiteboard.
Obviously there are poor spellings and typos which I’m not bothered by; I can easily edit afterwards. I can instantly feedback to students on the quality/viability of their questions and if relevant, why it might not be a question asked in the real thing.
I think the benefits are:
- Engaging with what specific exam questions could ask ( the more exposure and experience in a non-exam pressured setting, the better in my opinion)
- Engaging with the specification content
- The better they understand how exam questions are written the better they might become at answering them (?)
- Discussion in pairs/teams of ideas
- A bank of exam questions which took them minutes to create not hours for me (in the example below they gave 105 answers in about 4 minutes, repeats included)
- A variety of questions that I might never think of
I can then do what I want with the questions.I will obviously edit and sort them. I will put them on their class web page to access and practise as they want. They could also then answer the questions as and when needed.