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Instructions for Students

Below is a listing of 10 issues that educators should consider when using the IF-AT in their classrooms:

As with all test-taking, some students using IF-AT forms for the first time might be anxious.


1. As in all kinds of tests, some students have a hard time keeping their place on the answer sheets. Students should be told to use the top edge of the question sheet to maintain their place on the answer form to insure that they are scratching off on the correct line of the IF-AT form.


2. Students should be asked to read the question and all options slowly and accurately.


3. Students should scratch with some care so as not to tear the answer form.


4. Students should be told that the star for the correct answer can appear anywhere within the box. It is not always in the same location; scratch the entire box.


5. Students should be told that any portion of a box scratched off counts as a response.


6. Students should be told that they can earn points, EVEN if their first or second (or third) response is incorrect. They should re-read the question and remaining responses and “IF-AT first they don’t succeed, they should try, try again.” They will learn, incidentally, to become more careful, accurate readers, to think before   responding, and to persist in seeking a correct answer.


7. Students can use any of a number of “tools” to scratch off.  Popular tools include: a tooth pick, a popsicle stick, a penny, the edge of a plastic student I.D. card, or the top of a Bic-type pen.


8. Students should be told that they can determine their score on the IF-AT test by neatly writing the number value on the line provided to the right of each item. A running total of points earned is easy addition. Instructors can check quickly for accuracy. (Some college instructors deduct substantial points if students “give” themselves too many points on their first test. Students quickly learn not to “risk” it.)


9. Students should be told to keep their answer sheets secure, that it is their responsibility to insure that others cannot see their answer sheets. Sheets should be “face down” when not in use.


10. Students – and perhaps instructors, too – might assume that testing with the IF-AT takes longer than traditional multiple-choice testing. Actually, instructors report that, after the first time or a practice session, the increase in test time is negligible. On the other hand, time spent going over a traditional  multiple-choice test  is saved: with IF-AT’ s immediate feedback, students know the correct answer before the next question – when they can actually benefit by its teaching!


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