Title

The test-taking strategy as an intervention for college students with learning disabilities

Date of Completion

January 2007

Keywords

Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Special|Education, Higher

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

For students in general, test-taking strategies have been successful in increasing test performance and reducing test anxiety. However, there is a lack of research on college students with learning disabilities use of test-taking strategies. This population is especially in need of test-taking strategy instruction for several reasons. First, college students with learning disabilities show fewer test-taking skills in general than their peers without disabilities. Second, they also show more instances of test anxiety than their peers without disabilities. Third, many college students with learning disabilities use accommodations such as extended test time throughout their college careers. While accommodating students in many cases is necessary to provide equal access to educational opportunities, college students with learning disabilities may also require effective test-taking skills to help them clearly demonstrate what they have learned during an extended time testing situation. One specific approach, the Test-Taking Strategy, involves the use of the mnemonic device PIRATES and has been successful in improving the test scores of adolescents with learning disabilities. The implications of teaching this strategy to the college population required further investigation. This study assessed the application of the Test-Taking Strategy (PIRATES), as well as the impact that the Test-Taking Strategy (PIRATES) had on performance prompt scores, test anxiety, and use of extended test time for college students with learning disabilities. Results of a multiple baseline design suggested that the Test-Taking Strategy (PIRATES) was an effective intervention for these students.^