Visual Representations of Pretest and Posttest Scores
Analysis of Pretest and Posttest Scores
The scores on the pretest ranged from fifty-three to one hundred, and the average score was an eighty-one. Six students scored above a ninety, nine scored an eighty or above, two scored above a seventy, two scored a sixty, one scored in the fifties, and one student was absent. The pretest indicated that eighty-five percent of the class had a proficient to advanced understanding of the content and scored a seventy or above, and the other fifteen percent of the students lacked an understanding of the content and scored below a seventy. The assessment tested the students on technical terms relating to biographies, as well as, comprehension skills related to reading a biography. The high pretest scores are a reflection of the students’ ability to read, comprehend the text, and answer questions from the text. The students had also just completed a unit on expository non-fiction texts, which aided them with correctly answering portions of the assessment. The range and the average improved on the posttest. The scores on the posttest ranged from sixty to one hundred, and the average score was a ninety. Seven students scored a one hundred, six students scored above a ninety, four scored an eighty or above, three scored in the seventies, and one scored a sixty. After the unit lessons, ninety-five percent of the class had a proficient to advanced understanding of the content and scored a seventy or higher on the posttest. One student scored below a seventy on the posttest, but her score did improve seven points from the pretest.
The vast majority of the students’ test scores improved on the posttest, with the average increase being nine points. Many of the proficient students in the class, such as Josie, Rosemary, Davis G., Garrett, and Pierce, improved their scores from eighties to nineties and one hundreds. These students did well on the pretest most likely because of their ability to comprehend text and their prior knowledge from the expository non-fiction unit of study. Their posttests had fewer errors on the technical information regarding biographies and included more accurate details on their short answer responses. Advanced students in the class, such as Charlie, Iman, Ella, Sophie, Walker, and John, improved their scores from high eighties and low nineties to high nineties and one hundreds. Like the proficient students, they included more accurate details on their short answer responses. Additionally, these students did not miss any of the questions concerning technical information about biographies. One advanced student, William, did not improve his score like the others did. I believe this was because he was on vacation during the majority of the unit lessons. The remedial students in the class, such as KJ, Davis C., and Matthew, improved their test scores from seventies and below to high seventies. These students have a hard time concentrating and made careless errors on both assessments. These students also had difficulties with the reading comprehension questions on the assessment.
One remedial Student, Frances, improved her score from a sixty to an eighty-seven. She had the most improved score of the class. She was not familiar with the format of the assessment and was confused by the directions. I think that her understanding of the format and her active participation during the unit lessons contributed to her score increase. The student with the lowest score in the class on both the pretest and the posttest did not have a significant improvement. This student has a low reading level and she was unable to read the biography passage that accompanied the assessment quickly enough to finish the assessment. Both her pretest and posttest lacked responses to the short answer questions, but she answered the multiple choice, true or false, and matching questions more accurately on her posttest.
There were some students whose scores did not improve. One student, Gus, made a perfect score on both the pretest and the posttest. He is the most advanced student in the class and he also pays attention to the details of his work. Another student, Sophia, was not at school for the pretest, but made a perfect score on the posttest. She is an avid reader and I believe she would have scored high on the pretest had she taken it. Two of the proficient students’ scores decreased on the posttest, so I looked at their tests individually to analyze what caused their scores to decline. After reviewing Margot’s assessment, her lower posttest score was due to two careless errors. She answered more of the technical questions about biographies correctly on the posttest, but she did not answer the short answer questions as thoroughly. She left off one part of one short answer question, and she did not include specific adjectives that were required for another short answer question. After reviewing Miller’s assessment, his lower posttest score was also due to two careless errors. He only missed one of the technical questions about biographies on the pretest. On the posttest he answered that question correctly, but he missed a different technical question that he had answered correctly on the pretest. This makes me wonder if he was guessing on that question during the pretest and posttest. He also left off a part of the answer for one of the short answer questions. Both of the students’ understanding of the unit material seems to have improved, even though their test scores do not reflect that improvement.
After reviewing the posttest results, it is evident that the majority of students understand how to distinguish biographies from expository non-fiction texts, identify biography subjects and their hardships, struggles, and accomplishments, develop a theory about the specific traits of a subject, determine the main idea of a biography, and recognize how the subject’s time period differs from their own. However, some of the students will probably need further instruction and practice with reading comprehension and completing short answer questions. I am happy that most of the students’ scores increased after the unit lessons, and I hope that I provided them with a foundation of knowledge about biographies that they can continue to build upon.