English Test-Taking Strategy Use and Students Test Performance
Keywords: English Test-Taking Strategy Use, Test Performance, University
Wenxia Zhang, Meihua Liu, Shan Zhao, Qiong Xie
Tsinghua University, China
Wenxia Zhang, PhD, is a professor of English at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University, China. Her major research interests include EFL teaching and learning, language testing, and EFL writing.
Meihua Liu, PhD, is an associate professor of English at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Tsinghua University in China. She is interested in EFL teaching and learning in Chinese contexts, classroom research, and L2 language writing.
Qiong Xie is an MA student in Applied Linguistics at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University, China. She is mainly interested in second/foreign language acquisition.
Shan Zhao is an associate professor of English at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University, China. Her major research interests include EFL teaching and learning and EFL writing.
This paper reports on a study of English test-taking strategy use and its effect on students test performance at the tertiary level. After administering an 83-item survey to 526 students in three different study years at a university in Beijing, the study revealed that (1) the students had a medium use of English test-taking strategies. The most frequently used were compensation strategies, followed by affective, metacognitive, social strategies, cognitive and memory strategies; (2) the most often used individual strategies mainly fell into the metacognitive category, while the least often used individual strategies largely belonged to the memory category; (3) different categories of English test-taking strategies and overall strategy use were all significantly positively correlated with one another; (4) students test performance was significantly correlated with compensation and social strategies; (5) twenty-one strategy items, most of which were metacognitive strategies, significantly correlated with students test performance; (6) significant difference emerged in the use of memory strategies among students in different study years. Based on these findings, some educational implications are discussed.