Successful Assessment

I was very pleased with the results of the Confirmation exam given last night! This was the best that my students have done in recent years.

First, I had provided the young people with a study sheet 2 weeks ago, telling them precisely what would be included on the exam. I believe this made a big difference because some of them actually studied! One young man (who has a minor learning disability and has a penchant for being overly jovial during class) came rushing in at the start of class to tell me that he had all 10 Commandments memorized. He then proceeded to name them flawlessly! (Good thing, too, because he didn’t do so hot on the rest of the exam!). Another young man came in and pulled his study sheet out of his pocket and I saw notes he had written on it as he looked it over confidently before the exam.

I allowed the young people about 15 minutes to review the study sheets (I provided fresh copies) and to quiz one another in preparation for the exam.

Before distributing the exam, I said, “Jesus told us to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This exam is measuring the extent that we’re using our minds to love God. If you love someone, you want to know all about them. One of the ways we show our love for God is by learning all we can about him.” I then re-emphasized that if anyone “failed” the exam, it would mean that I would work with him/her to rectify the situation.

I have a big classroom (actually a science room) so I was able to spread the young people out all over the room for the exam. I played some instrumental music very quietly in the background (Be Not Afraid: instrumental Arrangements of Ten Beloved Contemporary Hymns, David Phillips…very nice).

Here is the exam itself.

The young people finished quicker than I expected so we had time to correct the exams and review the answers.

  • 12 students took the exam.
  • The average (mean) score was 91.6
  • the median score was 96.5.
  • Only 1 student
About Joe Paprocki 2739 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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