ERIC Number: ED228281
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Reduced Anxiety and Increased Assessment Effectiveness with Matching Test Formats.
Shaha, Steven H.
Traditionally, matching test formats have been avoided in favor of multiple-choice items for several reasons, including item analysis properties and chance performance characteristics. In the light of research on test format and anxiety, this study postulates that, if a matching test could assess knowledge for a given topic as effectively as an analogous multiple-choice test, yet present a less threatening, less anxiety-provoking situation, then the matching format should be utilized for testing. Two experiments measured the comparative effectiveness of each format for assessing student recall capabilities and for reducing test anxiety. Sixty-four students from Los Angeles area high schools were first administered 12 premise/response matching pair items and 12 multiple-choice items to assess prior knowledge. Test anxiety was measures with an experimental Test Anxiety Inventory, and test preference was measured with a three-item questionnaire. The second experiment determined generalizability, testing recall of novel or recently encoded material. Test subjects consistently favored the matching tests, scored equally high on them, and experienced significantly less debilitating test anxiety. The reduction of anxiety was possibly due to successful test-taking strategies and positive self-evaluations during testing. (CM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.