Test Expectancy Affects Metacomprehension Accuracy

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Background: Theory suggests that the accuracy of metacognitive monitoring is affected by the cues used to judge learning. Researchers have improved monitoring accuracy by directing attention to more appropriate cues; however, this is the first study to more directly point students to more appropriate cues using instructions regarding tests and practice tests.

Aims: The purpose of the present study was to examine whether the accuracy metacognitive monitoring was affected by the nature of the test expected.

Sample and method: Students (N= 59) were randomly assigned to one of two test expectancy groups (memory vs. inference). Then after reading texts, judging learning, completed both memory and inference tests.

Results: Test performance and monitoring accuracy were superior when students received the kind of test they had been led to expect rather than the unexpected test.

Conclusion. Tests influence students' perceptions of what constitutes learning. Our findings suggest that this could affect how students prepare for tests and how they monitoring their own learning.