The Effect of Test Taking Strategy Instruction on Iranian High School Students’ Performance on English Section of the University Entrance Examination and Their Attitude towards Using These Strategies

Fatemeh Takallou, Freidoon Vahdany, Seyed Mahdi Araghi, Amir Reza Nemat Tabrizi


This paper reports on a study that investigated the effect of teaching test-taking strategies on Iranian high school students’ performance on English section of the National University Entrance Examination (Konkoor). To do so, 273 male and female high school students participated in a workshop that lasted for four sessions. The participants were randomly divided into an experimental and a control group. In the beginning of the workshop, participants received a demographic questionnaire to see if they had taken part in a similar test-taking class which resulted in excluding some students from the groups. The groups were also homogenized regarding their language proficiency level by administering Oxford Placement Test (OPT). Therefore, 260 participants were left for the main study. Then, experimental group participated in the test-taking strategy workshop and control group worked on the previous samples of Konkoor examinations without any reference to test-taking strategies. At the end of the workshop, the attitude questionnaire was run in the experimental group to compile the group’s opinions about the treatment.  One month later, the students of both groups took Konkoor. The data were analyzed using an independent-samples t-test. The learners’ responses to the attitude questionnaire were also analyzed quantitatively. The findings of this study indicated that Iranian high school students in the experimental group outperformed the control group on their Konkoor exam. Moreover, they had positive attitudes towards teaching and learning test-taking strategies. This study suggests that integrating such strategies in the teaching curriculum could be beneficial for the students.



Test taking strategies, Attitude, Instruction, Language Performance

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