Exam Wrappers to Help Students Learn

exam wrapper image
Sample exam wrapper. Click image for an editable Word document.

After you grade exams and hand them back, is learning over? When an exam is returned to students, they may look at their score and calculate their potential final grade in the class. Whether discouraged or triumphant or barely hanging on, the student may miss an opportunity to learn from their exams.

To help students get more out of their returned exams, use exam wrappers. Exam wrappers contain a set of guided questions that encourage students to review their exams, determine where and why they lost points, and how they could improve studying and exam taking in the future. If you are returning exams on paper, attach an exam wrapper to each graded exam.

Guidelines for using exam wrappers

  • Explain to the students why you are using exam wrappers.
  • Give the students time to fill out the exam wrapper in class. Spending class time encourages the students to take exam wrappers seriously.
  • Collect the exam wrappers.
  • Review the exam wrappers for ideas for how you can help students succeed.
  • Return the exam wrappers to your students before the next exam. You may give students a few minutes in class to read their exam wrappers and prepare a study plan.

 More about Exam Wrappers

Exam Wrappers  from Carnegie Mellon University, with examples
Andrea Novicki

Author: Andrea Novicki

Andrea helps faculty use technology effectively and efficiently in their teaching. She works primarily with scientists, using her biology background, love of science and teaching experience. Her current enthusiasms include online science education, active learning (especially team-based learning) and assessment.