Exam Mode – something that makes teachers and test providers happy. Maybe not something on everyone’s mind right now, but an important feature on Casio’s newest addition to their graphing calculator line. The fx-CG500, fx-CG50 color graphing calculators already have Exam Mode, so the fx-9750GIII now has that capability as well. In today’s post, I want to discuss briefly what Exam Mode even means, and then provide a how-to video which shows how to set the fx-9750GIII into exam mode.
Letting the calculator ‘do the work’ for you is always a big concern for teachers, especially during testing, particularly standardized testing. If students are asked to find the factors of a given equation, we want them to find them using mathematical skills and understanding, not by pushing ‘solve’ on the calculator and letting technology take over. This does not show what the students can do. Which in theory is the point of exam mode – forcing some functionality of the technology to be temporarily suspended so that the students must do and show the work. My personal opinion is that if this is your fear, then you aren’t asking very good test questions…..but….that is obviously a post for another time!! Since a majority of ‘tests’ (particularly standardized) are more focused on process and steps, turning off the auto capabilities of the technology makes sense – it forces students to have to show and do the steps manually. This is exam mode, something required by many state and national tests in order for a calculator to be on the approved list.
I remember as a teacher in Virginia, when getting ready for the state Standards of Learning tests, having to put all my classroom calculators into test mode. An incredibly time consuming task (using a TI at the time), and then having to reverse the process once the testing was over, which was insanely even more cumbersome. Casio has at least made the process easy. Getting into Exam Mode is relatively quick – following some prompts on the calculator. But getting out of Exam Mode is brilliant – just wait 12 hours and it auto-shuts off. You don’t have to remember to do anything, or go through the process of connecting to your computer. Obviously, if you don’t want to wait, you can do the longer process, but as a teacher – waiting the 12 hours is golden!!
What does Exam Mode prevent students from doing? Basically, all programs that might have been entered are locked out, e-Activities, vector commands, E-con mode, and storage memory access are locked out, and no add-in apps either (like Physium, for the Periodic table). This renders the calculator safe from ‘doing the work’ for the students (i.e. a program to solve for example). Below is a link to a how-to video that shows you how to put the fx-9750GIII into Exam Mode and what steps to follow to take it out of Exam Mode. The beautiful thing being you don’t have to do anything to take it out of Exam Mode – just wait!!
Be sure to visit Casio Cares: https://www.casioeducation.com/remote-learning
Here are quick links: