Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of teaching test-taking skills upon the scores of selected secondary students. The interactions between the treatment and sex, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and achievement level were also investigated. The treatment consisted of four or five 50-minute periods of instruction and practice in selected test-taking skills which included marking answer sheets correctly and quickly, coordinating answer sheets and test booklets, developing a test cadence, fostering a positive test attitude, using deductive reasoning and guessing strategies, and using a relaxation technique during a test situation. The treatment was administered to four experimental groups in a sample which consisted of 110 sophomore students in eight randomly selected, average ability English classes. Within one week following the treatment, all students in the study took the Louisiana State Assessment Test which consisted of three subtests in reading, writing, and mathematics. Five null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of significance using general linear regression model analysis of variance procedures. In the instances where significance was indicated, t-tests were used at the .02 level of significance to determine the differences between the least squares means of the experimental and control groups for the reading, writing, mathematics, and composite scores. While all five hypotheses were accepted, indicating no significant differences between the experimental and control groups due to the main effect of the treatment or to the interactions between the treatment and sex, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or achievement level, there was scattered evidence that the instruction in test-taking skills benefited the minority students and the students categorized as high achievers. Reading and mathematics were the areas in which some impact of the treatment could be detected. As was anticipated, the qualitative writing skills did not appear to be affected by the treatment.