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The effect of testing on student achievement: 1910-2010


  • Richard P Phelps



This presentation summarizes research on the effect of testing on student achievement as found in English-language sources, comprising several hundred studies conducted between 1910 and 2010. Among quantitative studies, mean effect sizes range from a moderate d ˜ 0.55 to a fairly large d ˜ 0.88, depending on the way effects are aggregated or effect sizes are adjusted for study artifacts. Testing with feedback produces the strongest positive effect on achievement. Adding stakes or frequency also strongly and positively affects achievement. Survey studies produce effect sizes above 1.0. Ninety-three percent of qualitative studies analyzed also reported positive effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard P Phelps, 2012. "The effect of testing on student achievement: 1910-2010," Nonpartisan Education Review, Nonpartisan Education Review, vol. 8(4), pages 1-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:teg:journl:v:8:y:2012:i:4:p:1-34

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard P. Phelps, 2015. "The Test: Why our schools are obsessed with standardized testing: but you don't have to be, by Anya Kamenentz [book review]," Nonpartisan Education Review, Nonpartisan Education Review, vol. 11(1), pages 1-7.

    More about this item


    education; policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education


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