ERIC Number: ED310133
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
How Distracting Are the Distractors? A Comparison of Three Test-Taking Strategies.
Perlman, Carole L.; And Others
The various commercially available materials used to teach students test-taking skills offer contradictory advice on the issue of whether reading passages on standardized tests should be read before or after the corresponding test items. This study examined the effects on reading comprehension scores of training 606 urban fourth graders to use one of the following test-taking strategies: (1) read the questions and answer choices before reading the associated passage; (2) read only the questions before reading the passage; and (3) read the passage before reading the questions. Each student was given two 45-minute training sessions and one homework assignment in test-taking strategies. No significant treatment effects were found, although it appeared that while reading the questions (and possibly the answers) first can be beneficial to low achievers; the same does not appear to be the case for students who are more proficient readers. For the latter group, the lowest average gains were observed in the group that was asked to read the questions and answers before reading the associated passage. Seven data tables and two graphs are provided. (Author/TJH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (San Francisco, CA, March 28-30, 1989).