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The successful test taker: exploring test-taking behavior profiles through cluster analysis
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Departement of Educational Measurement.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4630-6123
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Psychology of Education, ISSN 0256-2928, E-ISSN 1878-5174, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 403-417Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To be successful in a high-stakes testing situation is desirable for any test taker. It has been found that, beside content knowledge, test-taking behavior, such as risktaking strategies, motivation, and test anxiety, is important for test performance. The purposes of the present study were to identify and group test takers with similar patterns of test-taking behavior and to explore how these groups differ in terms of background characteristics and test performance in a high-stakes achievement test context. A sample of the Swedish Scholastic Assessment Test test takers (N = 1891) completed a questionnaire measuring their motivation, test anxiety, and risk-taking behavior during the test, as well as background characteristics. A two-step cluster analysis revealed three clusters of test takers with significantly different test-taking behavior profiles: a moderate (n = 741), a calm risk taker (n = 637), and a test anxious risk averse (n = 513) profile. Group difference analyses showed that the calm risk taker profile (i.e., a high degree of risktaking together with relatively low levels of test anxiety and motivation during the test) was the most successful profile from a test performance perspective, while the test anxious risk averse profile (i.e., a low degree of risk-taking together with high levels of test anxiety and motivation) was the least successful. Informing prospective test takers about these insights can potentially lead to more valid interpretations and inferences based on the test scores.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018. Vol. 33, no 2, p. 403-417
Keywords [en]
Risk-taking, Test motivation, Test anxiety, Test-taking strategies, High-stakes
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-133401DOI: 10.1007/s10212-017-0332-2ISI: 000426652700012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-133401DiVA, id: diva2:1087601
Available from: 2017-04-08 Created: 2017-04-08 Last updated: 2018-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Stenlund, TovaLyrén, Per-ErikEklöf, Hanna
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