Testing has been found to facilitate students’ long-term retention of information. However, the learning performance of highly test-anxious students can be impaired by tests. Thus, these students may learn ineffectively in a testing context. By contrast, summary writing may not trigger test anxiety and is therefore another learning strategy to enhance students’ retention. This study compared the effectiveness of tests and summary writing tasks in enhancing the long-term retention of students with different levels of test anxiety. The participants included 133 students (aged 12–14) at a college in Hong Kong. The participants completed the test anxiety inventory (Spielberger in Test anxiety inventory: preliminary professional manual, 1980) to measure their level of test anxiety. They were then randomly assigned into three training groups: testing, summarizing and control groups. At the end of the training sessions, we assessed the effectiveness of the testing and summary writing tasks for participants with different levels of test anxiety. The results indicated that the less test-anxious participants in the testing condition performed better in the posttest than those in the summarizing condition, whereas the highly test anxious participants in the testing condition did not outperform the participants in the summarizing condition. Moreover, both highly test-anxious participants and less test anxious participants in the summarizing condition outperformed those in the control condition. The participants in the control condition demonstrated the lowest performance regardless of their test anxiety level. Copyright © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
CitationMok, W. S. Y., & Chan, W. W. L. (2016). How do tests and summary writing tasks enhance long-term retention of students with different levels of test anxiety? Instructional Science, 44(6), 567-581.
- Test anxiety
- Summary writing