When I give students a final test in literature, I want to give students a variety of types of questions. Some questions may be any or all of the following: matching, multiple choice, fill in the blank, true and false, short answer, quotation identification, discussion, cause and effect, etc. THERE IS ALWAYS A DISCUSSION QUESTION.
I also like to give my students a variety in the difficulty of questions, with some being simple recall and others being higher order thinking and reasoning types of questions. Surprisingly, it is often the simple recall questions that give them the most trouble. You know why? They don’t study!
Because of the different types of questions and the varying skill depths of the questions, not all questions are worth the same number of points. The points for each section is listed along with the directions.
My literature tests are divided into two main parts. The first part consists mostly of recall types of questions of basic plot information. They may have some quotation identification or fill in the blank, but it is nothing they couldn’t learn from simply reading the text and studying the information we have learned.
When students finish this part of the test, they turn the test in to me and get the second part. With the second part of the test, students are told to to answer a set of multiple choice questions and at least one discussion question. The multiple choice questions require close reading of the text. They won’t be able to simply find the answer in the words. Students must read and understand the text and the subtext. They must evaluate and analyze the information that they are given. They must be able to use logic and clear reasoning to arrive at their answers. Discussion questions always require some analysis as well as student elaboration as to WHY they believe their answer is correct. They also require specific references to textual evidence to support their ideas.
Once the second part of the test is turned in, I simply staple the two parts together and grade as one single test.
I have a separate unit for sale called HOW TO ANSWER A DISCUSSION QUESTION, which shows students how to answer discussion questions with detail and elaboration. If your students struggle with answering a discussion question, you might find it helpful. You can find it in my TPT store.