Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Andrew R. Brulle


A multiple-baseline design was used to investigate the effects of test-taking instruction upon the social studies test scores of four seventh grade students labeled as learning disabled. This two-phased (baseline and post-intervention) study ran for two semesters and included 14 test entries. All the tests were administered in the subjects' social studies class and scored by the subjects' social studies teacher. The teacher was not informed as to the nature of this study while it was in progress. The 10- day, individually instructed intervention package included activities in (a) test preparation (b) general test-taking principles (c) clue words (d) following directions and (e) strategies for taking tests formatted as multiple-choice, true/false, matching, and fill-in-the-blank.

A visual analysis of the subjects' data indicated that all four subjects demonstrated a significant increase in percentage points on the test directly following intervention, but this interventional increase in test performance did not maintain its effectiveness on the succeeding interventional test scores for three of the four subjects. The only subject that did demonstrate a stable profile of improved test performance was also the only subject that completed the required social studies assignments on a regular basis. In contrast, the instability of the individual test scores produced by the other three subjects may be more indicative of their inferior study habits than of the interventions' effectiveness. This study suggested that the implementation of incentive programs and study skills classes may help to maintain and stabilize the effects of future test-taking instructional interventions.

Furthermore, the problem of long-term effectiveness of test training interventions has not been addressed until this study. In previous test-taking instructional studies, the evaluation of intervention effectiveness relied on a difference score obtained from one pretest and one posttest measure of test performance. This particular study, which included 14 measures of test performance, challenged the long-term effectiveness of previous test-taking interventions and recommended that future studies include several posttest measures of achievement in their initial designs. This extended data base may then truly establish whether or not a test-taking intervention is effective in improving not just one but several test scores.