# Dumb question regarding grading of math problems....

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For the first time ever, I have to grade some of my dd's math papers and send them to VP as a sample of her work.

I've never actually "graded" her math papers before.... I usually just correct them and then we go over each mistake so that I can be sure that she understands the error, and the correct way to work each problem.

So....

How do you "grade" an algebra exam? For example, I'm looking at an Algebra 1 exam that includes some graphing, some problems with multiple steps, and some problems that are multiple choice (but she still has to work through multiple steps to choose the correct answer). There are also some word problems where she has to come up with 2 equations and solve for 2 variables. There are 20 problems on this exam. Should I just make each one worth 5 points, and deduct one or two points for things like missed signs, or an error in clearing fractions, etc.

I told you it was a dumb question :tongue_smilie:.

Is there a standard point system?

TIA, Jackie

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Is there a standard point system?

No.

One is tempted to deduct a point for a sign error. But here is the rub: in a more advanced class, a sign error at step one could lead to a significantly more difficult problem or it could make the problem so easy that it is trivial.

I fear that you have to look at each problem at each level and determine what you think is reasonable for partial credit.

I also think that more challenging problems should be worth more than easy problems. Those word problems you mention should perhaps be worth 8 or ten points. Some of the easy problems can be worth fewer points.

Jane

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I agree with Jane

Boy, if I had a nickle...no, with inflation make that a \$ for every problem I've struggled over this way....

Really, there are not any easy, "just follow this rule" kind of answers for grading these tests....or chemistry or physics by the way.

I'm sure that methods vary, but here is what I do. I look at the problem and the major steps involved in solving the problem. I assign 1 point per major step, not each step. For example, a word problem might require the student to know that they must solve for part a and then use that result to solve for part b. They might also have to figure out what kind of equation to set up for part b. So that might be a 3 point problem at least. So....after I've figured out how many points the test is worth...usually significantly less than 100....then I try to determine how many points the kid earned for each problem that they worked on. So, a simple problem with one step is 1 point, right answer is 1 out of 1. Problem with a graph and a solution....probably 2 points...so 1 out of 2 or 2 out of 2 and so on.

Then at the end, divide the number earned by the number available and you have your percentage....

I do subtract for sign errors and copy errors at a "steady rate" they cost my student .5 percentage points off the total score.

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I followed the tips you gave me in grading the exam, and came out with an 86%.

I think that score is representative of her overall performance and understanding of the material, so I'll count my grading a success.

Jackie

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I think you have the idea....the score you get should represent what you think the kid's performance and understanding equate to. If there is a disconnect, then either they really didn't get it or something else is amiss.

Wouldn't it be nice if it were an exact system? Alas it is not....so thinking it through is a good course.

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