ERIC Number: ED317573
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
On Their Own: Student Response to Open-Ended Tests in Math.
This report presents a summary of information about the use in Massachusetts of open-ended questions in the Massachusetts Educational Assessment Program's biennial assessment of mathematics at grades 4, 8, and 12. These questions appeared in one form of the tests in each grade. One-twelfth of the fourth-graders, one-sixteenth of the eighth-graders, and one-twentieth of the twelfth-graders who were tested in 1988 received a test form that contained some open-ended questions. The open-ended questions covered three major areas in school mathematics: (1) patterns and relationships; (2) geometry and measurement; and (3) numerical and statistical concepts. Sample test items and an analysis of student responses are provided for each grade level in the three areas of mathematics. In general, students did not cope well with finding patterns and did not become more proficient as they got older. Students did not have a firm understanding of geometry. Twelfth graders were better at estimation than were younger students, but many were not able to estimate problems with decimals. Many students in all grades were unable to explain basic mathematical concepts or basic applications. Overall, many students did not even attempt to answer the open-ended questions, perhaps reflecting a belief that mathematics represents mere computation, rather than a logical system of relationships. Implications for teaching are discussed. Student responses and their frequencies are summarized in an appendix. (SLD)
Descriptors: Comparative Testing, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Grade 12, Grade 4, Grade 8, Mathematical Applications, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematics Achievement, Mathematics Tests, Secondary School Students, State Programs, Student Reaction, Test Format, Test Items, Test Results, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts State Dept. of Education, Quincy. Bureau of Research, Planning, and Evaluation.