Summatives and Exams

Q: What are summatives?
A: In most courses, there are two final "big ticket" evaluations that together are what we call "Summative". One evaluation is an in-class project, and the other is a traditional exam in exam week. Students usually call the project part "the summative" and just call the exam "the exam", but technically, the two together are the Summative. Both assignments are required for successful completion of the course.

Q: What is the purpose of summatives?
A: Summatives...

  • are designed to allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the content and skills learned over the semester

  • are compulsory for the earning of a credit

  • are "time sensitive" - they happen on specific days and have specific due dates (unless there are significant extenuating circumstances)

  • are worth 30% of the final mark (split over the two evaluations - usually 15% each but this varies in each subject area)

  • are student-centered: students work independently and with minimal teacher assistance, as this is a student's opportunity to show all they've learned

Q: What is an exam?
A: An exam is an extended test that takes place during exam week (at the end of each semester) and has a set time limit (Typically 1.5-2 hours).

Q: What is John McCrae's Summative/Exam Policy?

  1. Exam dates are chosen well in advance. Examinations must be written and/or presented on the scheduled date. If a student misses a summative due to illness, a medical certificate/note is required.

  2. Vacations and work commitments should be organized accordingly and are not acceptable reasons to miss an exam.

  3. The total value of the formal, written examination shall be determined by the appropriate Ministry and Board guidelines.

    • Should examinations be postponed due to OCDSB bus cancellation, flooding, heating system electrical breakdown or school closure, each day's examinations would be written one day later than originally scheduled. This could mean that examinations would carry over into the next week. Should this occur, it is expected that students would be available to write all of their examinations.

    • First Semester: Students who miss examinations for medical reasons (accompanied by a medical certificate), will be required to write the exam on an alternate day (February 19th) from 3:30 p.m. -6:30 p.m.

    • Second Semester: Students who miss examinations for medical reasons (accompanied by a medical certificate), will be required to write the exam on an alternate day, during the first week of July (date to be determine by Administration).

    • Students who miss examinations for other reasons will be given a mark of 'zero' on the examination. Travel plans and work schedules do not constitute a legitimate reason for missing summative evaluations.

Q: What are the keys to success for exams?
A: If you prepare well for the exam, you will be successful. There are no surprises on the exam - the structure and question styles will be familiar to you from the tests written during the course.

Q: What can a student expect on an exam?
A: There will be a variety of types of questions on the exam.
You can expect such styles as:

  • multiple choice
  • matching
  • short answer
  • definitions
  • true-false
  • short explanations
  • mapping
  • calculations
  • graphing
  • primary source analysis
  • reading passages
  • photo/image analysis
  • argument outlines
  • drawing diagrams
  • essay


Q: How can a student prepare for an exam?
A: Following these steps are a good start:

  1. Go through your notebook and make sure it is complete

  2. Locate any notes or worksheets you are missing. Don’t leave this to the last minute. It’s not fair to be asking your friends for missing notes when they are studying for the exam too.

  3. Highlight any concepts or terms that you are unsure about. Look in your textbook to get help or see the teacher - don’t leave this until the last minute.

  4. Make study notes. Study notes are essentially created by taking jot note research from your own notebook.

    For study notes you should:

    • be brief
    • make headings and lists of important terms and concepts
    • use colour or bold lines/writing to identify important things

  5. Read over your notes several times.

  6. ENGAGE in the material. You need to do more than just read something to make it stick. Find ways that you can work with the notes to understand and remember them.

    For example:

    • make yourself a quiz
    • create a little song for key terms
    • draw mind maps
    • brainstorming blobs
    • quiz a friend


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.