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Dear Ken,
I currently teach at a school where the students are obligated to write mid-year exams for all of the subjects that they take in January. The exams cover all of the topics from September to January and are worth anywhere from 10 - 20% of the student's overall mark. From what I know about ALF, midyear exams do not show what the student knows at the end of the course so the exam really should take place at the end of the year and may take the form of a final summative exam. Many of the teachers at my school would like to change the midyear exams to final exams, but I don't see this change being embraced anytime soon. I would like to show my administrators what an AFL guru says on the subject, in hopes to change the current practice for next year. Any information that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Marisa Schille


I believe it is appropriate to have some summative assessments 'along the way' and this
might include mid-year exams but those summative assessments along the way and mid-
year exams should not be a fixed proportion of the final grade. Any time we have to
determine a grade it should be based on the student's most consistent level of
performance with emphasis on the most recent evidence. Thus grades should be
determined not just by calculation but by professional judgment.