Effects of testlike events on on-task behavior, test anxiety, and achievement in a classroom rule-learning task

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Findings on the effects of questions on attention and achievement seem inconsistent. Perhaps the inconsistencies are related to the number of pupils who are required to make overt, interpretable responses to each question. 52 3rd-grade students were randomly assigned to 2 groups and exposed to a standard lesson with the same questions. Control Ss were called upon randomly, and all experimental Ss were asked to indicate responses to every question with a nonverbal gesture. Off-task behavior was half as frequent in the experimental group, and achievement increased dramatically. No difference was detected in Ss' responses to a Likert scale of test anxiety. Apparently questions addressed to individuals are nominal stimuli to some group members and are less effective than questions used as test-like events. (10 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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