Tech-less Tuesday: Do’s and Don’ts of Test Corrections

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Tests are a necessary evil of teaching and can cause such anxiety for some students and really turn them off from school. In order to combat the negative connotation of tests, I tell my students up front that they will have the opportunity to complete test corrections. I tell them that it’s not for the points, but for learning from their mistakes, which is a huge part of Growth Mindset.

As long as I can remember I have been given the opportunity to complete test corrections, but never understood why I was making corrections. In middle school and high school when I was given the opportunity, I just took it as a chance to bring my grade up because I was trained to just get good grades. Times have changed, and I started my fifth graders with completing test corrections, but not so much to bring their grade up as to have a growth mindset about learning. Here are some dos and don’ts for giving students the chance to complete corrections.


  • Explain why you are giving them the opportunity to complete test corrections. Make sure they understand that everyone makes mistakes and although it’s great to get good grades the first time, it’s okay if they don’t. It takes the anxiety out of testing situations and gives students the change to relax so you can get a true assessment of how much they know. If they’re scared to make a mistake, they’ll end up making more silly mistakes, amiright?


  • Emphasize that they’re taking a test that will be the sole judgement of their knowledge. Make sure they understand that the test is for you to see what needs to be worked on with them in order to be successful.


  • Have the students analyze their mistakes. If they understand the misconception and why they made the mistake, they are less likely to make that mistake in the future.


  • Have students complete test corrections and just show new work. As stated above, make sure they are really understanding the mistake they made and why it is incorrect.


  • Give students the opportunity to explain their new thought process after analyzing their mistakes.


  • Make students complete test corrections independently, like a second test. Most jobs are collaborative and people have colleagues to bounce ideas off of and learn from, so why can’t we give students that same opportunity to do so with each other? Being able to learn from other students will allow for a more natural discourse.


  • Allow for collaboration among students so that they can learn from each others mistakes as well.

Everyone makes mistakes, and although tests are necessary, they shouldn’t be the end all be all of a child’s learning. We as teachers understand the necessity of assessments, especially since we’re becoming such a data driven society, however the pressure to do well is just as high for us as it is for the students. Why make it even more stressful than it has to be? We can show success in other ways besides testing, but that’s a post for another day. Testing is a necessary evil that is a part of education so let’s make sure it’s meaningful for everyone involved by taking the pressure off and allowing for test corrections.

Let me know if you have been doing test corrections, how do you do them? How long do you give students to complete them? What do you do with the corrections once they are done? If you don’t offer test corrections, why not? I’m curious of the other side of this debate.

I hope you find this post helpful and will be uploading a freebie to my Google Drive to help your students analyze and learn from their mistakes. Make sure you subscribe to get access to the exclusive drive!

As always, thank you for stopping by! Drop a comment to get in on the conversation! 😁


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Hi, I'm Alexandra!

I am a fourth-grade math teacher turned elementary tech teacher. I help upper elementary math teachers like YOU get organized digitally and engage students with digital tools. When I’m not teaching, you can find me taking long walks with my dog, Frannie, or travelling (especially to Disney World)!