Medical Terminology Teaching Tip: Pretests

How to Use Chapter Pretests to Engage Students

Teaching Medical Terminology

I taught many medical terminology courses during my 25 years as a college educator. Each year I would try to add something new to my teaching toolkit.

One semester I introduced medical terminology chapter pretests. I found them to be simple, quick, and effective.

What Is A Chapter Pretest?

Medical Terminology pretests engage students in content at the beginning of a new chapter or unit of study. They can be given at the beginning and the end of a new chapter.

Why Should I Use Chapter Pretests?

  • To actively and immediately engage students in the chapter content.
  • To pique student interest in the content.
  • To assist the student in evaluating where they stand concerning the content.

How Do I Develop Chapter Pretests?

  • Have at least one question for each chapter’s objective.
  • Write between 10-15 questions.
  • Use multiple choice, true and false, or fill-in-the-blank questions.
  • Include one or two questions about common knowledge and chapter content since students may gain confidence in knowing the answer.


See a sample chapter pretest

How Do I Use Chapter Pretests in the Classroom

  • Hand out the test before introducing the chapter.
  • Allow the students 3-5 minutes to complete.
  • As a group, with students sharing their choices, identify the correct answers.
  • Allow the student to keep their pretests.
  • The same pretest can be given at the completion of the chapter (most students will be impressed with how much they have learned).

Using medical terminology pretests in your classroom can actively and immediately engage your students in the chapter content. This model can easily be modified as an introduction to other kinds of presentations outside the classroom.

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