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Unc short answer questions examples

Alternative assessments measure performance in forms other than traditional paper-and-pencil, short answer tests.

These types of assessments focus on what students can do without emphasizing their weaknesses, especially in test-taking skills. Alternative assessments are not graded like standardized tests are. Rather than counting the number of right and wrong responses, these assessments give a holistic picture of a student’s abilities and highlight where further improvement is needed. They give the student a chance to demonstrate the depth and scope of learning without being limited to narrow questions or make-or-break tests. Often, alternative assessments are utilized for students with learning disabilities who have difficulties performing on standardized tests.

Popular forms of alternative assessment include:

Essays If a student has difficulty with standardized verbal assessments, writing an essay may be a better way for her to exhibit her comprehension and skills. An essay can also show how a student thinks about a certain subject in more detail than multiple-choice or short-answer questions. Portfolios Most often used as replacements for end-of-course testing, portfolios exhibit the progression of a student’s learning over time. A teacher may create a portfolio compiling student essays, lab reports, or other assignments to demonstrate learning that a standardized test may not. Portfolios are typically attached to specific learning objectives and include a reflective piece by the student. Web 2.0 capabilities have allowed students to create and post portfolios online to share with other students and their teachers. Presentations/demonstrations These activities allow a teacher to observe his students performing the skills he is teaching. A science fair is a type of alternative assessment, as are choral performances. A math teacher may ask his students to design a bridge based on hypothetical dimensions he has provided. Authentic assessments This method attempts to create a real-world environment for students to exhibit their skills and knowledge. A biology teacher may have her students identify the different pollutants in a local stream to report to the local environmental protection agency as an authentic assessment.

When evaluating an alternative assessment, educators need methods to assess fairly and objectively. Often, they may use rubrics. A rubric is a scoring guide for non-quantified assessments such as portfolios and presentations. The rubric identifies quality work on the assignment and its criteria through descriptive language. For example, a rubric may state that “an acceptable essay contains fewer than four grammatical errors” or “a high-quality project displays every step taken in solving the problem.” Rubrics are also helpful for peer evaluations.

Resources for alternative assessments

If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale.
  • Your responses will help us get a better understanding of who you are, how you think, and what you might contribute to the University community.

    First-Year Applicants
    You’ll submit one essay as part of the main portion of the Common Application and two short answers specific to your application to Carolina. Keep in mind that your responses will be evaluated not only for admission, but also for possible selection for merit-based scholarships and other opportunities available to First-Year Applicants, including [email protected]

    One essay from Common Application: You will be presented with five prompts and asked to write an essay of 250-650 words in response to the prompt of your choice. These prompts are common to all schools who accept the Common Application, and you can view the prompts here.

    Two short answers specific to UNC application: In addition to the essay you provide with your Common Application, please choose two of the following prompts and respond to each in 200-250 words.


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