Constructing mathematical examinations to assess a range of knowledge and skills

Geoff Smith, Leigh Wood, Mary Coupland, Brian Stephenson, Kathryn Crawford, Geoff Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we describe aspects of a programme to enhance student learning in undergraduate mathematics. We present ways of constructing formal examinations which assess a range of knowledge and skills and which encourage students to reflect on their learning. To assist with this process, we propose a taxonomy to classify assessment tasks ordered by the nature of the activity required to complete each task successfully, rather than in terms of difficulty. An extensive list of university level examples is given to illustrate descriptors in the taxonomy and to provide ideas for those interested in implementing an alternative approach to writing examination questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-77
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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