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Practice Makes Perfect: A Simple Javascript Routine For Student Practice Tests That Anyone Can Implement

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.500.1 - 5.500.6

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Paper Authors

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Jeffrey A. Griffin

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Dewey A. Swanson

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Gary B. Randolph

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Dennis O. Owen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1375

Practice Makes Perfect: A simple Javascript Routine for Student Practice Tests that Anyone can Implement Gary B. Randolph, Dewey A. Swanson, Dennis O. Owen & Jeffrey A. Griffin Purdue University School of Technology – Anderson/ Purdue University School of Technology – Columbus/ Purdue University School of Technology – South Bend


Beginning in the spring 1999 semester and continuing, the authors have used a simple Javascript routine to create web-based practice tests for students in various classes. Feedback from students has been very positive. Students indicate that the question-feedback cycle helps them gauge their readiness and feel more confident for the real exam.

This paper will discuss how the program works, how educators can enter customized test questions for the program using a simple text editor, and provide a web link for educators to use to download the program and customize it for their own classes.

I. Introduction

Computer software has been put to many different uses in education, including tutorials1, instruction delivery2, simulations3, and practice tests4. With the growth of the Internet, on-line practice tests have the advantage of allowing students to access the practice test at any time, allowing students to progress at their own pace, providing instant feedback, and allowing information to be constantly updated4. Students using online exams report that they appreciate the immediate feedback on their performance as well as the “anytime / anyplace” capability5.

Javascript is a simple non-compiled programming language for creating web pages.6 Javascript was used to create a practice test web page for students to use in preparing for exams. The fact that Javascript is non-compiled means anyone can easily modify practice tests for their own classes using a simple text editor program, as the authors have done. Being non-compiled also means that the questions and answers are not secured; any user who knows how to view the source can do so. But for the purpose of a non-graded practice test, that is of little concern. Students run the practice test to learn and gauge their knowledge, not to get a grade.

II. Taking the Test

When students start the practice test program they will first see a welcome screen telling them what to expect. When they click on the Start button they will then begin seeing questions as shown in Figure 1. The program is set up to select a random group of questions for presentation

Griffin, J. A., & Swanson, D. A., & Randolph, G. B., & Owen, D. O. (2000, June), Practice Makes Perfect: A Simple Javascript Routine For Student Practice Tests That Anyone Can Implement Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015