The Relationship Between Time to Complete a Test and Test Performance

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One hundred eighty-three students enrolled in an undergraduate psychology statistics course completed three tests comprised of different amounts of closed book and open book test items. For these tests, students also recorded their test completion time, for extra credit. The authors then combined course-based student data with preexisting demographic variables. They found that test completion time was sometimes negatively correlated with test performance, but not consistently so. Student age was positively correlated with test completion time, and prior term grade point average (GPA) and prior cumulative GPA were both positively correlated with test performance. The authors discuss these results by exploring possible reasons for the inconsistent relationship between test completion time and test performance, and the advice students might be given regarding these matters.