The Psychological Effect of Errors in Standardized Language Test Items on EFL Students’ Responses to the Following Item

  •  Saman Khaksefidi    


This study investigates the psychological effect of a wrong question with wrong items on answering to the next question in a test of structure. Forty students selected through stratified random sampling are given 15 questions of a standardized test namely a TOEFL structure test in which questions number 7 and number 11are wrong and their answers to the next question is being analyzed. Three way ANOVA determines whether the total scores of the students, also their age, and gender affect the students’ responses to the upcoming question or it is just a psychological factor affecting students’ responses. The results showed that only 20 percent provided true answers; among them were only very proficient and proficient students. Age and gender were not considered significant factors in this regard. The correct answers were attributed to their full mastery over the structure and their personality type rather than the psychological factor. Most of the students were psychologically affected by a wrongly given item. Thus, it is suggested that test givers and teachers ignore the wrongly given question and also the upcoming one in order to prevent the psychological factor that makes students provide unsure and false answers to the question.

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