Marlynne Nicol


St. Margaret's High

  • Assessment For Learning

The Effect of Exit Passes in the Classroom


Active learning strategies are varied, and active learning is a key part of the Curriculum for Excellence strategy for science education, encouraging teachers to “consider the purpose of learning and to plan for active learning” (Scottish Government, 2017). As an active learning pedagogy retrieval involves pupils recalling information from their memory employing simple methods such as questioning and quizzes; strategies which can be easily applied within the classroom setting. Studies have shown that pupils that are subjected to daily quizzing perform better, and it is the process of testing, the ‘testing effect’, which helps pupils remember and benefits long-term retention of information (Bangert-Drowns, R.L., et al, 1991).

Exit tickets are a formative assessment tool that can be one question, or a series of questions (quiz), posed to pupils as a plenary, which pupils’ hand to the teacher when leaving, therefore engaging all pupils. Exit tickets are a tool which the teacher can use to determine the level of knowledge pupils achieved during the lesson and importantly a tool for the teacher to adjust subsequent lessons, to meet the needs of the pupils, either individually or collectively. It is a powerful informal assessment tool, which can feed into more metacognitive learning, such as retrieval practice.

Therefore, in this enquiry we will evaluate the use of exit tickets as an active learning approach, using exit ticket questioning as a form of retrieval practice pedagogy. Practising retrieval of information has been shown to be a powerful tool for enhancing pupil learning and improving academic performance.


To investigate the effects of implementing exit tickets on pupils’ ability to retrieve knowledge within the secondary biology classroom.

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