Investigating the Impact of Test Preparation Programs on Teacher Candidates' Performance on State Certification Exams



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The purpose of this ex post facto quantitative study was to examine the correlation between the scores of preservice teachers on 240 Tutoring STR practice tests and their scores on the actual STR exam and to explore the extent to which test preparation programs predicted performance on certification exams. In addition, this study compared the scores of teacher candidates who used only the 240 Tutoring software to those who indicated the use of test preparation materials outside of the 240 Tutoring system. It was the intent that the data harvested from the 240 Tutoring archival records would reveal which components of the test preparation software were most effective in predicting greater score yields and how time spent on each of the components influenced exam scores. The current study was conducted by analyzing quantitative data consisting of overall time spent using the 240 Tutoring test preparation software, time spent using each of the program’s study components, scores earned on practice tests within the system, and actual scores on the STR exam. Along with these data, survey responses were collected from a smaller sample of participants and analyzed to determine if patterns of usage affected exam scores and what, if any, additional materials teacher candidates used to study for the certification exam. Findings indicated that more time spent utilizing the 240 Tutoring test preparation materials, along with a greater percentage of dedicated time spent focusing on instructional materials, had the greatest impact on STR exam scale scores. Survey results also revealed that candidates who supplemented their studies with additional resources were more successful on the STR exam than participants who utilized only STR materials.



Teacher Certification Exams; Educator Preparation Programs; Certification Test Preparation