2\3 of the class failing a test... WHAT CAN WE DO?

  1. 0
    We just had our third unit test which was on Neuro. CVAS, Headaches, seizures, etc. (you know the routine!)
    The teacher who taught that unit and the following unit is a good instructor, and we had heard that her tests were easy and straightfoward. We got our grades back today and 2\3 (well 18 out of 28) FAILED! Nobody got above a 90. (80 is passing, 79 is failing)

    Some of the questions were completely out of left field, stuff we didn't talk about and stuff that was not in the required reading (which is has to be one of the two to put on the test).

    What should we do? Our class is usually really good with grades (I would say 4\5 pass usually). Some people have been the dean before with not much help... I love my school and everyone is so helpful, BUT, a test is a test.

    I don't know what to do.

    Any suggestions?
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    This has been a big problem at our school as well. The questions aren't jiving with the assigned reading or lecture and we've been talking to the faculty about it.

    I think there are many reasons for this problem:

    * A lot of times, the teachers who teach the material don't write the tests. They're using some other teacher's tests or they're using test bank questions with content different from what's assigned or taught. So something that should have been mentioned in lecture that you wouldn't find in the assigned reading isn't covered and everybody ends up missing the question.

    * The teachers often don't update their material. If the textbook edition changed, they assume the same material is in the new book when, in fact, it's not. It may be in the book but, the publisher has moved it to some other chapter that has nothing to do with the topic at hand so, there's no way you would find it.

    * As you advance to new semesters, the teachers give you much tougher "critical thinking" questions where you're supposed to figure out the better of two right answers with limited information. They're also expecting you to remember everything you've been taught going back to physiology so ... unless you have a phenomenal memory ... it makes finding the right answer all the tougher.

    Nevertheless, it really boils down to the fact that the teachers are too lazy to write their own tests. They're using other sources for the questions so they don't have to bother writing their own and, they assume it's all the same information when, in fact, it's not.

    I don't know what the solution is because, despite our best efforts to bring these issues to the faculty's attention, nothing has changed. A lot of us are now using every NCLEX study guide we can get our hands on to learn how to "game" the tests better because, the questions we are getting on tests often have nothing to do with what we read or covered in class.

    People who have been taking this approach ... i.e. studing NCLEX guides more than the assigned lecture material ... have been doing better in my class. They still study the material but, they focus more on the NCLEX guides.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 22, '06
  6. 0
    We had a horrible test like that last quarter. Our class did extremely well on the F&E test (was supposed to be the hardest), only 6 people failed it. Then we took the GI test and 27/50 failed it. It all came down to the instructor that taught that material and the funky questions she wrote on the test. They had the nerve to say it was a "good" test but there weren't any A's on it. We usually have a good number of A's. People complained but it didn't do any good.
  7. 0
    We do have a test bank, but the teachers make a big deal in emphasizing certain things, and picking the test bank questions that correspond correctly with the information.

    Thanks for the responses so far, keep them coming, please!
  8. 0
    Last week we had a test in Med Surg, and the class average was a 76. Anything below a 74 is failing, so this means that almost half the class failed! On the accompanying case study, the average was a 73!

    This class has been a continued problem in our program. Every year the students who normally do very well (class average around 85 or 90 on most exams) do very poorly in this course. It might have something to do with the fact that they are assigning 300-400 pages of reading per week just in this course, and we have four other courses this semester!

    The tests are very poorly written; they are supposed to be like the NCLEX. The difference is that when I study out of NCLEX books there are rationale for the answers. I asked the professor who wrote the test for her rationale for one of the questions on this past exam, and she could not give me a reasonable explanation as to why her answer was the correct. (By the way, the professor who lectures is not the professor who writes the exams. Talk about a disconnect!) This spring they pulled someone in to teach the course only a week before the semester began.

    Sorry, I guess this was kind of a long rant. I'll just be happy with my 82 and hope that they give me the spot I applied for on the undergraduate program committee. I suggest that you get involved in this sort of activity if you want to have any say about the curriculum and teaching methods used in your program. Good luck!
  9. 0
    Quote from RNinJune2007
    We just had our third unit test which was on Neuro. CVAS, Headaches, seizures, etc. (you know the routine!)
    The teacher who taught that unit and the following unit is a good instructor, and we had heard that her tests were easy and straightfoward. We got our grades back today and 2\3 (well 18 out of 28) FAILED! Nobody got above a 90. (80 is passing, 79 is failing)

    Some of the questions were completely out of left field, stuff we didn't talk about and stuff that was not in the required reading (which is has to be one of the two to put on the test).

    What should we do? Our class is usually really good with grades (I would say 4\5 pass usually). Some people have been the dean before with not much help... I love my school and everyone is so helpful, BUT, a test is a test.

    I don't know what to do.

    Any suggestions?
    Maybe this is too obvious, but....have you talked with the teacher herself about this? After all our tests, our instructors either go over at the next class whatever questions seemed to cause the most commotion or will set up a time for review later. She'll know what questions were problematic because of our ScanTron setup: it keeps statistics and so she'll know how many students got each question wrong. Sometimes the instructor will toss a question, or allow two possible choices if it seems the question was skewed or not something most of us could get right for one reason or another. Not ALOT, lol, but sometimes.

    Anyway, even without the statistics, if you have a class representative or approach as a civilized group, why can't you discuss it with her to a reasonable outcome?
  10. 0
    In my peds class a lot of people were failing. I failed my first test in peds. I realized that for my instructor I had to change the way I studied. Our instructor is also a writer for the NCLEX so her questions were hard core. I studied accordingly and made a 90 and a 92 on the last tests in that class.
  11. 0
    Hi, I'm Mandy, a second semester LPN student I totally know how you feel. For our first 5 weeks, we have one instructor. For the rest of the semester we have a different instructor who comes in. She taught RN's forever. She is teaching us LPN student's as if she is still in an RN classroom. Her first test, endocrine, had a class average of 75%. I got a 76%.

    FRUSTRATING! I think I'm going to start studying the RN NCLEX books for the rest of the semester.
  12. 0
    Is using the test bank for your book to study from cheating? Someone in my class bought the test bank and others are using it to study but I'm not sure if I should.


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