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Motivational aspects of test-taking: measuring test-taking motivation in Swedish national test contexts
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1861-6589
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the work underlying this thesis was to improve the understanding of students’ test-taking motivation in connection to achievement tests for young adolescents. The thesis includes four studies and a summary. All four studies explore test-taking motivation and are all connected to validity in one way of another. The expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation was used as a theoretical framework in the operationalization and measurement of test-taking motivation and the achievement tests in focus were the Swedish national test in science for grade nine students, a Swedish national test in mathematics for upper secondary students and field trials for both these tests.

In the first study psychometric properties of an expectancy-value based questionnaire measuring five aspects of test-taking motivation were evaluated. Findings provided support for construct validity, as internal structure of the data corresponded to the theoretical model, partial scalar invariance was obtained and correlations between test-taking motivation and test performance were found. In the second study the students’ test-taking motivation at the field trial and the national test were analysed in more detail. The analyses showed a significant increase in all test-taking motivation aspects between the field trial and the regular national test. Test-taking motivation at the field trial did also differ between school classes and test anxiety and expectancies differed between females and males. Further, effort, expectancies, importance and interest were significant predictors of test score after preliminary grades had been accounted for. The third study was an interview study aiming to examine students’ test-taking motivation at national test as well as the field trial in more depth. The interviews provided a rich understanding of the different aspects of test-taking motivation as described by the expectancy-value theory, for example why students find the national test important and what they mean by giving effort to a test. In the fourth study psychometric properties of an extended and revised test-taking motivation questionnaire were evaluated in a new sample of students. The analysis showed that the questionnaire had sound psychometric properties and supported the assumption that test-taking motivation consists of several distinctly different aspects, but also showed that the different subscales are highly related.

In conclusion, the results provide support for several aspects of construct validity of the test-taking motivation questionnaire. Further, all studies showed that test-taking motivation differ between test with different stakes as well as between students and classes taking similar tests. Test-taking motivation also seem to affect test results. Thus, all students do not seem to be equally motivated to do their best on all tests and consideration should be taken to how students approach and experience each specific test when planning and interpreting achievement tests. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2017. , 63 p.
Series
Academic dissertations at the department of Educational Measurement, ISSN 1652-9650 ; 9
Keyword [en]
Test-taking motivation, Swedish national tests, validity, expectancy-value theory, task value, expectancies, young adolescents, self-report instrument, interview, structural equation modelling, test stakes
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
didactics of educational measurement
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131028ISBN: 978-91-7601-672-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-131028DiVA: diva2:1071134
Public defence
2017-03-03, Hörsal 1031, Norra beteendevetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5075
Available from: 2017-02-10 Created: 2017-02-02 Last updated: 2017-02-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Modeling the Test-Taking Motivation Construct Through Investigation of Psychometric Properties of an Expectancy-Value-Based Questionnaire
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling the Test-Taking Motivation Construct Through Investigation of Psychometric Properties of an Expectancy-Value-Based Questionnaire
2015 (English)In: Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, ISSN 0734-2829, E-ISSN 1557-5144, Vol. 33, no 7, 662-673 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of an expectancy-value-based questionnaire measuring five aspects of test-taking motivation (effort, expectancies, importance, interest, and test anxiety). The questionnaire was distributed to a sample of Swedish Grade 9 students taking a low-stakes (n = 1,047) or a high-stakes (n = 536) test. Structural equation modeling largely supported theoretical assumptions and psychometric properties were acceptable. Expectancies and importance were significant predictors of effort, and effort significantly predicted performance in both test situations. Furthermore, measurement invariance across test situations was investigated. Partial scalar invariance was obtained and latent mean comparisons showed significantly higher levels of reported test-taking motivation in the high-stakes context. The study findings suggest that the present instrument can be used in low- as well as high-stakes assessment contexts not only to get an extended knowledge of test-takers' perceptions of tests but also to control for lack of motivation when stakes are low for test-takers.

Keyword
test-taking motivation, expectancy-value theory, test stakes, structural equation modeling, asurement invariance
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109794 (URN)10.1177/0734282914551956 (DOI)000360815200005 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5075
Available from: 2015-10-08 Created: 2015-10-06 Last updated: 2017-02-08Bibliographically approved
2. Are all Pupils Equally Motivated to do Their Best on all Tests?: Differences in Reported Test-Taking Motivation within and between Tests with Different Stakes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Are all Pupils Equally Motivated to do Their Best on all Tests?: Differences in Reported Test-Taking Motivation within and between Tests with Different Stakes
2017 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170, Vol. 61, no 1, 95-111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated changes in reported test-taking motivation from a low-stakes to a high-stakes test and if there are differences in reported test-taking motivation between school classes. A questionnaire including scales assessing reported effort, expectancies, perceived importance, interest and test anxiety, was administered to a sample of pupils (n = 375) in 9th grade in direct connection to a national test field trial and then again to the same sample in connection to the regular national test in science. Two-level second order latent growth modelling was used to analyse data. In summary, the results show a significant increase in reported test-taking motivation from the field trial to the regular test and a significant variability in test-taking motivation between classes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
Keyword
multilevel modelling, test-taking motivation, test stakes, class effect
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
didactics of educational measurement
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123173 (URN)10.1080/00313831.2015.1119723 (DOI)000393802200007 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5075
Available from: 2016-06-28 Created: 2016-06-28 Last updated: 2017-04-04Bibliographically approved
3. ‘It was, Perhaps, the Most Important One’: Students’ Perceptions of National Tests in Terms of Test-Taking Motivation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘It was, Perhaps, the Most Important One’: Students’ Perceptions of National Tests in Terms of Test-Taking Motivation
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
test-taking motivation, students’ perception, national test, expectancy-value theory
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
didactics of educational measurement
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131024 (URN)
Available from: 2017-02-02 Created: 2017-02-02 Last updated: 2017-02-08
4. Evaluation of a Revised Expectancy-Value Based Questionnaire by Using Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of a Revised Expectancy-Value Based Questionnaire by Using Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
test-taking motivation, expectancy-value theory, test stakes, utility, cost
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
didactics of educational measurement
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131026 (URN)
Available from: 2017-02-02 Created: 2017-02-02 Last updated: 2017-02-08

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