Pretraining Hispanic Students On Test-Taking Strategies And Its Effects On The Reliability And Predictive Validity Of A Mathematics Predictor Test

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which the training of Hispanic students in test-taking influences the psychometric properties of a test. It sought to discover the effects of the test-taking training on the reliability of internal consistency and predictive validity of a mathematics predictor test.Design. The sample consisted of 803 entering college students. Of these, 535 were Hispanic. From this sampling of Hispanic students, 241 had completed most of their education in the United States and had prior familiarity with multiple-choice tests. The remaining 294 students had received most of their education outside of the United States and were unfamiliar with the multiple-choice format. The students were randomly assigned to the experimental or control group. Students in the experimental group were instructed in test-taking skills. Control subjects received information on the college's programs for an equivalent period of time. All subjects in the experimental and control groups were administered the mathematics portion of the College Guidance and Placement (CGP) test. Based on the results of the predictor, subjects were placed in either a Basic Skills or an Algebra Course. A total of 218 subjects completed the courses.Findings. Results showed slightly lower internal consistency estimates for the experimental groups and a moderate increase in predictive validity for experimental subjects. The increase reached significance at the .05 level for those Hispanic students educated in the United States, and for Hispanic students in general in the Basic Skills course. It was significant at the .05 level for Hispanic students in general in the Introductory Algebra course.Conclusions. The results of the study indicate that Hispanic students can profit from a short training in these skills. They also indicate that the psychometric properties of the instruments used to evaluate Hispanic students may be improved by training provided to the students. These results are important to anyone involved with the education, placement, and admission to programs, colleges, and universities of Hispanic students.


Education, Bilingual and Multicultural

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