Elizabeth Gehrig

Elizabeth Gehrig is a senior assessment development specialist in the Center for Learning and Technology. Passionate about high-stakes testing, her career spans more than 10 years in language testing, credit-by-exam and outcomes assessment. Email her at clt@tesu.edu.

Recent Posts

Why Adult Learners Tend To Make Better College Students


Am I too old for this?

This is something many adult learners ask themselves. So chances are, you have asked yourself this very question, too. It’s an understandable thought because going back to college as an adult can be intimidating.  

Sure, maybe it has been awhile since you’ve written a paper or taken a test. Or, you are wondering how you will fit your course work in with all your other commitments.

However, as an adult, there are things that make you a far better student today than you would have been 10, 20 or 30 years ago. In fact, you may have more of an advantage as a mature, self-directed adult than you did as a fresh-faced high school graduate. 

So instead of wondering if you’re too old to go back to college, consider that now might be the best time ever for you. Here’s why.

Topics: Student Success

3 Types of Assessment You’ll Take in College (And How to Approach Each One)

I’m 99.9 percent sure that most people do not like exams.

While that .1 percent is another story, there’s no way around it: throughout your time as a student, you will be tested on the knowledge and skills learned in your college courses. This requires hard work, but it also ensures you possess the expertise that your degree says you have. It confirms that after you graduate, the diploma hanging on your wall means something - to your employer, to your colleagues, to any educational institutions that you might attend in the future and, most importantly, to you. 

Topics: Taking Courses, Study Tips

What is a Practice Exam and What Can it Do for Me?

You and the University share the same goal: for you to do well on your exams, and thereby your courses.

From blog articles, like this one, for example, to the Testing Resources page and exam study guides to low-stakes formative quizzes, you have a variety of resources to help you better review your course content and do well on your exams.

Topics: Online Tools and Resources, Taking Courses

How to Write With Style and Impress Your Mentor

For students, essays are like taxes: they are unavoidable.

Throughout your educational career, you’ve probably had to write more than a few essays. But, although you know the basics of writing a good exam essay - like organization, grammar and focus - there’s a whole other issue to consider that you may not have thought of before:

How can you write in a way that impresses your mentor?

Topics: Taking Courses

3 Handy Tips From the Pros for Taking an Online Midterm or Final Exam


Exam week: it arrives every semester. You’ve completed your modular activities, studied your textbook and reviewed your exam study guide, if one is available. Now it’s just a matter of sitting down and proving your knowledge on your online exam. But did you know that there are a few things that may make your course exams different from any exams you’ve taken in the past?

It’s true. Some test-taking strategies that work for paper exams may not apply for online exams. And then there’s to guess or not to guess – a whole different question! So to prepare you for your next online midterm or final exam, here are three insider tips meant to boost your test-taking skills.

Topics: Study Tips

How to Answer Multiple-Choice Questions: What Exam Creators Wish You Knew

Picture a writer of multiple-choice exam questions. Who do you see? Someone who cackles with glee when she comes up with a really tricky question? Or maybe Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, muttering “Eeeexcellent” when he sees a question that has no answer?

You’ll be relieved to know that these are not the people who create your course exams. In fact, trick questions can ruin the day of an exam developer; we loathe trick questions and avoid them at all costs. This means that we avoid questions with double negatives, ambiguous meanings, no clear answer, two correct answers when there should be one, overlapping answers and many other problems.

Topics: Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

The Secret to Using a Study Guide to Ace Your Next Exam


There’s no doubt about it:  exams are a challenge. It can be tough to prepare for them, especially when your mentor didn’t create the exam and can’t provide much guidance. Online courses cover a lot of material, so it can be hard to know where to begin when you’re studying.

So if you are working hard and trying your best, how can you eliminate the element of surprise on a test? And get the best grade possible?

Topics: Taking Courses, Study Tips

The Anatomy of a Course Exam: How a Test Becomes a Test


If it hasn’t happened already, then at some point it will: you’ll come face-to-face with a midterm or final exam.

Hopefully, you worked hard to prepare, learning the material inside and out, up and down. Then, once you take the test, you most likely breathe a sigh of relief and move on.

Exams are a fundamental part of college in general. But the University’s process for developing exams is probably different from what you experienced in other college courses. When all is said and done, exam development is not a simple process. Each day, you can find a team of people hard at work behind the scenes, dedicated to ensuring that every exam is fair and carefully developed.

Here’s what goes into the course exam you just took.

Topics: Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

What to Really Expect on Your First Online Course Exam or TECEP®

computer mouse on exam answer sheet
Taking an online exam can be intimidating. If you went to high school or college in the 90s — like me — you took tests on paper, either filling in bubbles or trying to fill up a blue book. At Thomas Edison State University, though, your course and TECEP® exams are primarily taken online. So, after you’ve studied, gathered your pen and scrap paper (and whatever else your syllabus or test description allows) and logged into the online proctoring service, you might be unfamiliar with this new testing experience. To help you get accustomed to your new assessment space, here’s what you can expect during an online exam that differs from the little blue book or bubbles you remember.

Topics: Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

3 Things Taking a Course Exam Reveals About You

man wearing cape and holding a laptop

No one enjoys taking exams. Why would we? Exams are stressful, they’re time-consuming, they can be really hard and they might have a big effect on a final grade. Sometimes, when we’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to see the benefit of taking exams.

However, succeeding on a course exam demonstrates your strong skills and abilities. So when you do well on a test, be proud. You’ve accomplished a major achievement. Next time you’re studying or logging in to take your exam, try to ignore the anxiety and remember: you can do this.

Topics: Taking Courses, Credit by Exam