A Study of Test-Taking Skills and Achievement Scores upon Secondary Students
The problem. This study was conducted to determine if secondary students whose reading abilities were below grade level could improve their reading comprehension and vocabulary test scores on standardized tests, whether the test-taking skills program influenced these students' test scores, and how a test-taking skills program could improve students' future standardized test scores. Procedure. The Nelson-Denny Reading Tests were used as the measuring instrument. Form E tests were given to all students for the pre-test scores. Students were randomly placed in experimental and control groups. After thirty-six, twenty-minute sessions (a total of twelve hours of instruction time) using published test-taking skills and strategies by World Book, students were post-tested with Form F tests. The statistical findings were calculated using t-Test results on paired and group scores. Findings. This study provided evidence that there was a siqnificant difference in the mean gain scores of the reading comprehension scores of the experimental group. The null hypothesis was held tenable with the mean gain scores of the vocabulary sections and the reading comprehension of the control group, Data indicated that secondary students whose reading abilities were below grade placement could improve reading comprehension and vocabulary test scores with the use of a published test-taking skills program. Conclusions and Recommendations. Data suggested that secondary students whose reading abilities were below grade level be given training in test-taking skills because students' scores on standardized tests tend to improve. Teachers should recognize that test scores are not solely the result of content knowledge. Knowing how to select the best possible choice for an answer can improve the student's test results. Other studies in test-wiseness, test-taking skills, long- and short-term training, uses of various published skills programs, and replication of this study with other locales and different subjects should be encouraged.