Testing effect is a phenomenon where students who take practice tests/pre-tests perform better on subsequent tests. Research shows that pre-tests are effective tools for preparing for tests as they help students to mimic the mental processes that would be performed in an actual test. The objective of this study is to measure the effect of pre-testing on students’ final test scores in high stakes criterion referenced testing. Using test data from CETE, we examine the effect of testing on retention and transfer on later tests. We used a cross-classified model to predict students’ post-test scores based on whether they took the pre-test. We performed a differential item functioning (DIF) analyses and logistic regression to determine whether students who took the pre-test performed better on anchor items in the post-test, controlling for performance on non-anchor items. We also tested the length of time between pre-test and post-test as a covariate for this effect. The results of our preliminary analysis revealed that taking a pre-test was significantly related to student’s post-test scores. Students who took the pre-test performed slightly better on anchor items than students who did not. These results provide unique insights into testing effects in high stakes educational testing, specifically career technical education, an area which has not been under researched. For educators and students, it provides valuable information about the effect of pre-testing on calculation of learning gains.

Authors: Abena Anyidoho, Rebecca Berenbon, Bridget McHugh

Published in: World Congress on Education, 2022

  • Date of Conference: 21-23 June, 2022
  • DOI: 10.20533/WCE.2022.0006
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-913572-50-1
  • Conference Location: Virtual (Mississauga, Canada)