This idea was recently shared with me by Pietro Tozzi. He is a maths teacher at Gumley House Convent School in London but also works for Pearson (the Edexcel exam board) two days a week. We brought him out to our school in Singapore to do some training for the team about the new A-level in maths. (By the way, if you are looking for an A-level or (I)GCSE trainer, I would highly recommend him.)
During our time together, he shared this idea for returning a test. As it turns out I had a KS3 test to return and tried it out. As I marked I kept track of the best answers for each question. When I compiled this table, I made sure that every student was listed and students with lower scores were listed more frequently, if possible.
The class score represents the fact that among all the students, they have expertise to get full marks; someone scored perfectly on every question.
After passing back the tests, I asked students to get up and meet others who could help them correct their errors. They spent about half an hour up and about, talking over their questions, and making notations (using a coloured pen) on their tests. While they were doing this, I was able to work around the room and talk to those who had difficulties that their peers couldn’t solve.
They enjoyed this way of reviewing and correcting their tests. Having them out of their seats was good for their concentration (for the most part!) and also allowed me to be less conspicuous in my help of a few key students.
I completed this lesson with a fill-in sheet for students to list strengths and targets based on the test. We spent the following lesson with students doing individual work on their targets before we moved on to our next topics of study.