The effect of formal instruction in test taking skills using the Riverside "Improving Test Taking Skills" materials on standardized achievement test scores of students in fourth and fifth grade.
AuthorCushing, Katherine Susan.
AdvisorSabers, Darrell L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractResearchers have suggested that knowledge of how to take a test decreases the validity of achievement test scores as measures of content knowledge. Further, teaching students test taking skills generally improves student achievement test scores. However, little research exists regarding the efficacy of commercially prepared materials for formal test-wiseness instruction. Fourth and fifth grade students in 15 elementary schools participated in this study. Students in the Volunteer Selected group received instruction in test taking skills using the Riverside Improving Test Taking Skills materials. Students in the Volunteer Not-Selected group received whatever test taking skill instruction their teachers provided as a result of wanting, but not being selected, to participate in the study. Students in the Control group received what was considered "normal" instruction in test taking skills. A gain score ANOVA of NCE scores from standardized testing was used to determine statistical significance on the Composite Battery and the Reading and Mathematics subtests. When reliable differences were indicated effect sizes were calculated. Formal instruction in test taking skills resulted in significant effects for fourth grade students on the Composite battery and the Mathematics subtest. However, average gains for students in the Volunteer Not-Selected group were as great as for students who received instruction using the Riverside materials. Significant effects for the Reading subtest were indicated only for achievement level. Positive effects were indicated for fifth grade students in the Volunteer Not-Selected group on the Composite and Mathematics subtest. At the fourth grade differential effects were indicated for achievement level, sex, and SES, but not for ethnicity. At the fifth grade achievement level, sex, SES, and ethnicity resulted in differential effects for students in all three groups. In summary, test taking skill instruction appeared beneficial to fourth grade students regardless of whether the instruction was delivered using the Riverside materials or using teacher made or teacher collected materials. At the fifth grade data the results were less clear cut. Further research must be conducted before policies can be established and educators can use with confidence, or not use at all, commercially prepared test taking skill instructional materials.
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration