On this unreasonably warm week, my year 8s are taking tests.
They've done pretty well, not staggered me, but pretty good skills.
On the way out of the non-calculator test, i had this exchange with one pupil:
Me: Well, what did you think?
P: It was pretty hard, i hate it when it's all multiple choice.
These are the government issue Year 8 Optional Tests (our mighty leaders appear to issue the exact same ones every year, but I digress). Upon taking the time to go through the paper, out of 60 marks 23 were of a multiple guess style (either ringing the correct answer, or drawing lines to the right answer)
Personally, I dislike these type of questions, I'd have none of them - every time I see one I picture some faceless examiner Tarranting the kid "is that your final answer?" accompanied by ridiculous over dramatic background muzak.
But I was amazed that over one third of this paper (to put it in context, pure guesswork could get a pupil a grade D equivalent) was open to wild guesswork.
However, far be it from me to question the examining powrs of the mighty higher ups, so i felt it befit a level of analysis. I asked some random pupils in my form to completely guess every multiple choice answer (P1 guessed the first option for each one which i enjoyed very much as an experimental method - his logic was that he figured people would never expect the right answer to be written so close to the question, so the examiners would view it as 'guess proof' - more fool them, we've seen through your little ruse!)
Anyway, total guessing led to the first kid getting 9/23 (actually, pretty impressive since he guessed all "a"s - a lesson learned - guess a for good grades!), p2 got 8 and p3 got 11.
Anyone else concerned that a kid actively instructed to not read the question or think about it at all can gain around 10 marks out of 60 of this exam?