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“Right Answer Only” Grading

Recently I implemented “Right Answer Only” grading when correcting my son’s math tests.   Problems are graded as either right or wrong, and no partial credit is given even if the mistake is tiny.  For example, if the problem asks you to take a measurement in inches and you give the correct measurement but neglected to write down “inches,”  the problem is considered wrong.

After I grade the test, I give the test back to my son and tell him to rework all the missed problems WITHOUT my help.  He is to redo the problems on his own, and if he gets the problems correct, he earns half of the point back.  If he is not able to get the problems correct second time around, I step in and help him work through it.  In this case, no additional credit is given.

In my son’s last test, he got 16 correct out of 20 problems.  I circled the 4 wrong answers and gave it back to him to rework on his own.  He got 3 correct, but couldn’t figure one.  His final score was 17.5 out of 20, and how this was calculated was based on the original 16 problems he got correct plus the three problem he reworked, which was half point each:  16 + 0.5 + 0.5 + 0.5 = 17.5.  The percentage was 88% with a grade of B+.  As for the problem he couldn’t figure out, I worked with him and explained the steps.

I really like this grading approach because it forces my son to figure out where he went wrong.  He is more careful these days because he knows that he has to rework the problem if he gets it wrong the first time.  This method works so well that I decided to use the same approach for his regular homework assignments as well.

I got this “right answer only” grading from Ask Dr. Callahan, and you can read about it in the below links:

What is Right Answer Only? (A video explanation)

Why Grade Right Answer Only?

How do I Grade Right Answer Only?

Please note, Ask Dr. Callahan’s math program is targeted towards high schoolers and not elementary students.  However, I find the “right answer only” grading is beneficial for the elementary students as well.  I follow Dr. Callahan’s grading method mostly with the exception that I don’t have my student fill out a separate sheet explaining why he missed the problem.  I believe elementary math is simple enough that if he is able to get it right second time around, he has already figured out where he went wrong, thus eliminating the step to explain why he missed it the first time around.  I think it is beneficial to explain why when math gets more complex in the high school years.

Posted in Homeschooling.


2 Responses

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  1. Vikki says

    Love this idea!!! I’m so glad you shared this. I’ll be home schooling my niece and nephew (who live with us) after this school year, and need all the tips I can get! 🙂

  2. Petrie Montgomery says

    Lois, this is exactly the way I grade my chemistry students when I teach. It gives them the opportunity to get some credit back, and affords the opportunity to learn in the process. I think it’s excellent, also, to start grading this way early. Children learn grace by being allowed to try again, but also learn that full credit is for those who do it completely right the first time (in a temporal sense, not spiritual, of course).



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