Tuesday, January 30, 2024

MC Speed Training

 Whether it is in my AP Lit class or my Standard Inclusion English II class, I have a standardized test at the end of the course to prepare them for.  For my English II, we are not concerned with speed, but for my AP students, there is a fairly short time frame they must adhere to.  So I thought I would give them a curve ball for yesterday's Multiple Choice Monday challenge.

I did not take this one for a grade.  Instead I put them into groups.  On the board I had 1-20 listed, each with A B C D E beside it.  I gave each group a different color wet erase marker and told them that they have two reading passages and 20 questions total.  Each group can send one member to the board to circle an answer choice.  Only one member from that group can come up at a time and no team member can answer more than one question at a time.  They are welcome to use their group for help in picking the right answer choice.  The catch?

  • Since they are writing in wet erase marker, once they have claimed that answer, they cannot go back to change it.
  • Only on team can claim a letter for any particular question.
This means that the group must decide on speed vs. precision, or rather, what combination of the two they will use.  If they focus too much on speed, they are likely to take too many wrong answers.  If they take too much time on precision, then they risk other teams grabbing the correct answer before their turn.  

The board soon looked like this:

After all teams were satisfied that they had answered all they could answer, we went over the questions and answers per usual, but this time, prizes were are stake.  In this case, they are playing a quarter-long game, so every correct answer gave their team extra points.

They had a lot of fun and the we added time pressure without grade stress, so I feel like it turned out to be a useful exercise.  Its not one I would do more than once, but it shook up the multiple choice practice and got them excited, so I count it as a win!


  1. I love this and I'm going to try it! What did you mean when you said it is a "quarter-long game"? Also, does #6 have an x because noone got it right?

    1. Yes - no one got #6 correct, so I put and X on it. We were then able to discuss why the correct answer was what it was. The quarter long game is one I made up based on the TV show Survivor and they build team points along the way. They will do just about anything to get those team points, so any activity that allows me to offer a prize, I will make it team points. Costs me nothing and they want it more than candy or some other prize I could give them. Good luck with it and let me know how it comes out and if you have any ideas for how to tweak it and make it better.

  2. Can you explain the game in more detail? I don’t watch Survivor so I don’t understand it.

    1. It's just a group game where they compete against the other groups for team points to win a prize. As the game goes on, those in the running for Ultimate Survivor narrows until there is only one left, and that person gets their name on my wall for people to see for years to come. You do not have to play this game to use this speed test above, I just like group activities and having a chance to win something like team points costs me nothing, but they will do just about anything for it. Because there is a social aspect of this game, I only use it with seniors, but I have done similar games with other grade levels with similar success. If you want more detail, you can shoot me an email at extremeenglishteacher@gmail.com