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Matt Drown. The Effects of Immediate Forewarning of Test Difficulty on Test Performance. Charles J. Weber Eastern Illinois University George Y. Bizer Union College The Journal of General Psychology Volume 133, Issue 3, July 2006, Pages 277-285 . Theory.

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the effects of immediate forewarning of test difficulty on test performance

Matt Drown

The Effects of Immediate Forewarning of Test Difficulty on Test Performance

Charles J. Weber

Eastern Illinois University

George Y. Bizer

Union College

The Journal of General Psychology

Volume 133, Issue 3, July 2006, Pages 277-285

theory
Theory
  • Forewarning right before an exam has an effect on test performance
hypothesis
Hypothesis
  • There will be a difference in the performance of students with high trait anxiety and low trait anxiety
    • High anxiety will perform worse
    • Low anxiety will perform better
theoretical construct i
Theoretical Construct I
  • Trait Anxiety
    • Operational Definition
      • 20-item trait-anxiety questionnaire from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)
      • Measures level of dispositional anxiety
theoretical construct ii
Theoretical Construct II
  • Performance
    • Operational Definition
      • 10 multiple choice items from a prior administration of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
study and subjects
Study and Subjects
  • Subjects
    • 62 students at Eastern Illinois University
    • psychology students
    • Partial fulfillment of course requirement
independent variable i
Independent Variable I
  • Perceived test difficulty
  • Scale of Measurement
    • Qualitative
  • Levels of Independent Variable
    • 3 levels
      • Expected Easy (N=22)
      • Expected Difficult (N=18)
      • Neutral (N=22)
independent variable ii
Independent Variable II
  • Anxiety
  • Scale of Measurement
    • Qualitative
  • Levels of Independent Variable
    • 2 (low and high, based on median split)
dependant variable
Dependant Variable
  • Performance
  • Scales of Measurement
    • Quantitative
  • Levels of Dependant Variable
    • 10 (number of correctly answered items)
main effect
Main Effect
  • There were no main effects of condition or trait anxiety on the number of correctly answered items
interaction
Interaction
  • Significant difference among both high trait anxiety (p<.05) and low trait anxiety (p<.05)
    • Participants of low test anxiety told that the exam would be hard scored significantly higher than those told it would be easy
    • Participants of high test anxiety told that the exam would be hard scored worse than all other participants
  • No significant difference among no-instruction control
slide16

I think it is a good idea for a study

    • Very few studies have tested forewarning immediately before a test
    • Suggests that forewarning of difficulty well in advance and immediately before an exam have distinct effects on performance
slide17
But….
  • Could have been done better
    • There were too many extraneous variables that were not controlled or taken into account
    • Maybe taking a larger, more diverse sample