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ERIC Number: EJ973126
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1075-2935
Test-Taking Strategies for a High-Stakes Writing Test: An Exploratory Study of 12 Chinese EFL Learners
Xu, Yun; Wu, Zunmin
Assessing Writing, v17 n3 p174-190 Jul 2012
This paper reports on a qualitative research study into the test-taking strategies employed in completing two picture prompt writing tasks--Situational Writing and Interpretational Writing in the Beijing Matriculation English Test. Think-aloud and retrospective interview protocols were collected from twelve Chinese students representing two key and two ordinary senior high schools in both urban and suburban areas of Beijing. The researcher also conducted in-depth interviews with the students' English teachers to explore issues raised by their students. The research findings suggest that driven by the high stakes involved in the test, students have developed a full set of test-taking strategies through coaching and exhibited skillful manipulation of these strategies. Moreover, with its original intention badly distorted, Interpretational Writing has become a "risky" task. Students are unwilling to freely express their own ideas. Instead they try to guess test developers' intent. Therefore, Interpretational Writing might fail to achieve one of its goals: measuring creative thinking. The researcher also points out that more efforts should go into identifying the sources of certain test-taking strategies and clearing any possible misunderstandings between test developers and teachers. (Contains 7 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China