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ERIC Number: EJ813146
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0361-476X
Predicting Student Achievement for Low Stakes Tests with Effort and Task Value
Cole, James S.; Bergin, David A.; Whittaker, Tiffany A.
Contemporary Educational Psychology, v33 n4 p609-624 Oct 2008
We investigated motivation for taking low stakes tests. Based on expectancy-value theory, we expected that the effect of student perceptions of three task values (interest, usefulness, and importance) on low stakes test performance would be mediated by the student's reported effort. We hypothesized that all three task value components would play a significant role in predicting test-taking effort, and that effort would significantly predict test performance. Participants were 1005 undergraduate students enrolled at four midsize public universities. After students took all four subtests of CBASE, a standardized general education exam, they immediately filled out a motivation survey. Path analyses showed that the task value variables "usefulness" and "importance" significantly predicted test-taking effort and performance for all four tests. These results provide evidence that students who report trying hard on low stakes tests score higher than those who do not. The results indicate that if students do not perceive importance or usefulness of an exam, their effort suffers and so does their test score. While the data are correlational, they suggest that it might be useful for test administrators and school staff to communicate to students the importance and usefulness of the test that they are being asked to complete. (Contains 2 tables and 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A