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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Cross-cultural study of test-wiseness Man, Daisy Wailing


The objectives of this study were to investigate the cultural differences in test-wiseness between Chinese and Canadian students; to study the impact of test-wiseness on British Columbia Grade 12 provincial examination results among Chinese students in British Columbia; and to examine the relationship of test-wiseness, and four correlates (verbal ability, achievement motivation, length of residency in Canada, multiple choice experience) among the Chinese students. The Test of Test-wiseness and Student Survey questionnaire were administered to 41 Grade 12 foreign Chinese students who wrote the provincial examinations in January 1990. Completed test data were compared with the same data from Canadian and Chinese immigrant students who wrote the provincial examination in June 1989. The data were analyzed by a linear regression model. The results indicated that ethnicity accounted for a significant amount of variance in test-wiseness. Foreign Chinese students were significantly less test-wise than both Canadian and Chinese immigrant students. Foreign Chinese students scored significantly lower than the other two groups in absurd-options, different-options, stem-options link and guessing subtests in the Test of Test-wiseness. The results also showed that test-wiseness did not account for a significant amount of variance in provincial examination scores (English 12 and Algebra 12). The four correlates together accounted for very little variance in test-wiseness. None of them significantly correlated with test-wiseness, except that length of residency in Canada correlated positively with test-wiseness. Finally, the three ethnic groups showed no significant differences in achievement motivation but foreign Chinese students scored significantly lower than Chinese immigrant students who scored in turn lower than Canadian students in verbal ability. The findings imply that language plays a crucial part in test-taking situations. With inadequate English language skills, foreign Chinese students were unable to satisfactorily comprehend the test questions, and hence their test performance were very close to what would be expected from random guessing. It is suggested that these students require examination coaching skills as well as improvement in English language skills.

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