Take-Home Exam – Pedagogical Guidance

Best use of take-home exams

To assess analysis, synthesis and evaluation skills by requiring candidates to organize and integrate information, interpret information, construct arguments, give explanations, evaluate ideas and develop original thoughts/ opinions. Take-home exams also provide a way of testing a candidate’s ability to communicate in writing and to present their responses in a logical manner.

[Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/services/public-service-hiring-guides/best-practices-unsupervised-testing.html]

Guidelines for constructing essay questions

  • Clearly define what is to be assessed.
  • Formulate the question so that the task is clearly defined for candidates.
  • Situate the question within a context or problem/situation.

[Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/services/public-service-hiring-guides/best-practices-unsupervised-testing.html]

Guidelines for scoring essay questions

Choose a scoring method with explicit criteria to increase fairness and ensure consistency in scoring. One approach is to prepare an expected response to the questions in advance, where the major components of the response are defined and assigned a point value. Candidates’ responses can then be compared to the expected response and given credit or partial credit when their responses include desired elements from the expected….

[Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/services/public-service-hiring-guides/best-practices-unsupervised-testing.html]