Date of Award

Fall 2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Conrad Van Voorst

Second Advisor

Not legible

Abstract

The policy of retesting, in which students are provided with multiple testing opportunities on the same subject matter in the hopes of improving test scores and mastery of the material, has become increasingly popular in American education. This policy has been the subject to debate in education scholarship, with scholars disagreeing on whether retesting helps students gain confidence or encourages them to try less. This study examines Canandaigua Middle School’s retesting policy for math classes to ascertain its value or harm. Seventh grade students were given questionnaires after instances of testing and retesting, asking questions about test preparation. Both questionnaires and test grades were compared and analyzed. The author found that those students who took the retest were overwhelmingly able to increase their grades, with none doing significantly worse. The results of the survey show that allowing students to retest led to a modest improvement in studying and homework time. Students were overwhelmingly positive towards retesting, though only half chose to actually do it, including students who did poorly on the initial test. The fact that many retesting students had initially received higher than 75% suggests retesting is used principally by high achieving students to gain even higher scores. The author recommends continued research on why some students with lower scores refused to retest.

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