Peer Reviewed Journal: Test Taking Strategies and Language Test Validity

Pages: 3 (886 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Communication - Language  ·  Buy This Paper

Test Taking Strategies and Language Test Validity

One of the many effects of globalization is the increasing need for workers in all countries and at all levels of the socioeconomic scale to become multilingual, and English is still far and away the preferred language of international business throughout the developed and developing worlds (Cheng, 2008). English proficiency is thus a highly desired trait in many non-English-speaking countries, and performance on language tests can often determine occupational opportunities an, prior to that, educational opportunities that could truly determine the course of an individual's life (Cheng, 2008; Mohamaddi & Abidin, 2012). Language test validity has thus become a topic of intense scrutiny in research and in practice, as determining the ability of these tests to truly measure language proficiency is a question not only of extreme practical importance given the employment demands of the modern world, but also of extreme ethical importance given the tests' impact on people's lives. Test taking strategies present barriers to language test validity, and thus these must also be examined to derive truly valid and meaningful results from such testing.

Defining test taking strategies can be more difficult than it might initially seem, given the number of parameters involved in these strategies. Different theoretical constructs have been applied to the identification and definition of test taking strategies by different researchers and in different perspectives. While these different frameworks are not necessarily mutually exclusive they do present radically different means of assessing and analyzing test taking strategies (Cohen, 2006; Amer, 2007; Mohamaddi & Abidin, 2012).

These different approaches can make the implications of test taking strategies on the validity of language tests also quite varied and difficult to measure. The pressures to achieve, as noted, are quite high, and instructors can also contribute to the knowledge and use by students of test taking strategies which also affects not only the rate of test taking strategy use but also the effectiveness and the degree to which it can tamper with language test validity (Amer, 2007; Cheng, 2008; Lee, 2011). Some general test-taking strategies, such as skipping over more difficult answers and completing easier answers first and taking the time to review answers to ensure they are correct, can actually be seen in some ways as increasing test validity in that this leads to more accurate assessments of actual knowledge held by the test taker (Amer, 2007; Mohamaddi & Abidin, 2012). Other types of test taking strategies, however, undermine test validity and ultimately test the student's ability to strategize and manipulate the design and circumstances of the test rather than more comprehensively and accurately measuring language proficiency (Cohen, 2006; Lee, 2011; Mohamaddi &… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Test Taking Strategies and Language Test Validity.  (2012, May 10).  Retrieved September 16, 2019, from

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"Test Taking Strategies and Language Test Validity."  10 May 2012.  Web.  16 September 2019. <>.

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"Test Taking Strategies and Language Test Validity."  May 10, 2012.  Accessed September 16, 2019.