In ESL Grammar 2, I’ve offered a standard exercise final exam. The average 79% score was not acceptable. I developed a more authentic “end of the semester” way to bring together all the information offered in this grammar course. I assigned a guided autobiography. At the class prior to the final exam, students were shown a presentation and given colored notecards. I asked them to write ideas on the notecards related to each section of the presentation. At the end of this class, I collected the notecards. At the final exam, I handed back the notecards. Students used those to write their autobiography on the guided exam.
Using the new format, the average score was 84.4%, a 6.4% increase. Students were only graded on grammar. I will use this test again. Next semester I plan to prepare the students earlier and correct a few ambiguities.