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3-2-1 Test Review


Create student ownership in analyzing graded assessments and help teachers prioritize which items to review.


  • Graded assessment
  • 3-2-1 Test Review handout, optional (printed or projected)
  • 3-2-1 Test Review template (English/Spanish)
  • Notebook paper (if handout is projected)
  • Sticky notes


  1. As students think through each item on a computerized test or quiz, they write the question number on a piece of paper and code each question with a plus, check, or minus symbol. (Students place symbols directly beside each question on a paper test.)
    + easy question ✓ medium complexity question – really difficult question
  2. After students receive their graded test (computerized tests may be accessed electronically to view coding sheets), they analyze their responses to think, talk, and write about strengths and mistakes using the 3-2-1 Test Review template:
    3 Select 3 questions you coded with a check or minus but you got right! Justify how you arrived at the correct response.
    2 Select 2 questions you coded with a plus or a check but you got wrong. Find a friend to help you discover your mistakes and help you correct your thinking.
    1 Select 1 question you want the teacher to go over no matter what you coded it. Write that question number on a sticky note and place it on the board.

    Note: Students who scored a 100 select 3 difficult questions, 2 tricky questions, and 1 weird question.

  3. Facilitate students mixing around the room to discuss and coach each other on their “3s” and “2s.”
  4. Collect and organize the “1” questions on the sticky notes, select 3-4 to review with the whole class, and use a strategy like Make the Case or IQ Slap Down to help students discover and correct their learning mistakes on these targeted questions.
  5. Observe students’ thinking and clarify/verify as appropriate.
  6. Students summarize what they learned in writing and note how to avoid mistakes in the future.

Classroom Management

  • Model the strategy using a think-aloud.
  • Model the plus, check, minus coding activity during an electronic test.
  • Role-play or rehearse how to find friends to help coach the 3s and 2s, ensuring all students have thinking partners.


  • Promote access by allowing students to code and discuss questions with a supportive peer/adult.
  • Promote access by providing a paper copy of the test questions and allowing a peer to read the test questions aloud.
  • Provide response support by allowing speech-to-text or word prediction support if completing with a digital version of the 3-2-1 Test Review template.

Think It Up!

  • Have students think more deeply about the concept by responding to a Think It Up prompt as an exit ticket or journal entry:
    • What learning strategies will you apply to correct a mistake you (or others) made?
    • Summarize what you know better after the activity.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.