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Teaching Middle School Students to Use a Test-Taking Strategy

Shirley Ritter and Lorna Idol-Maestas
The Journal of Educational Research
Vol. 79, No. 6 (Jul. - Aug., 1986), pp. 350-357
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27540225
Page Count: 8
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Teaching Middle School Students to Use a Test-Taking Strategy
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Abstract

A learning-strategies approach was used to teach 28 students how to take tests. Ten of these students were among the poorest reading comprehenders in a social studies section of a middle school; the remaining 18 students were above-average comprehenders. Benefit of instruction was measured in terms of near and far generalization. For a near-generalization measure, three pretest and posttest social studies mini-tests were administered to the experimental and control groups; the test format was tightly controlled. A second set of pretest and posttest measures, used as the far-generalization indicator, was also obtained; these were test scores from the students' science class. The far-generalization measure was typical of tests administered in the classroom. The experimental students, including the poor comprehenders, used test-taking strategies on both near- and far-generalization measures significantly better than control students. Average and good comprehenders in the experimental group showed significant improvement on near but not far generalization. Overall, these results provide empirical support for teaching heterogeneous groups to use a learning-strategies approach.

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