ERIC Number: ED251825
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Oct-26
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Background Information on Standarized Test Scores.
Feeley, Joan T.; Wepner, Shelley B.
A study was conducted to determine the effects of exposure to the topics included on the comprehension subtest of the Nelson-Denny Reading Test (ND), Form F, on college freshmen's performance on the test. In addition, the study investigated whether those students with background information would indicate their awareness of this knowledge on a teacher-made inventory. Students in one section of an introductory college reading course served as the experimental group, and those in another section served as the control. Both groups received supplementary readings, with the experimental group using articles based on topics found in the ND. At the end of the semester, immediately before administration of the ND, students in both groups completed a teacher-made Prior Knowledge Inventory (PKI) designed to measure their perceived knowledge of the topics included in the test. Students were asked to check one of four categories--"great deal,""moderate,""minimum," or "none"--to describe the amount of knowledge they had about each of 12 topics. Posttest ND results suggest that if students are provided with background information about topics included on the comprehension section of a standardized test, those students will score higher on the test than will those not exposed to the material. PKI results showed that students' awareness of their knowledge was not as important to test performance as the knowledge itself. (A list of materials used in the study is appended). (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Reader Text Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College Reading Association (28th, Washington, DC, October 26-28, 1984).