The relationship between test preparation and state test performance: Evidence from the Measure of Effective Teaching (MET) project


  • Hongli Li Georgia State University
  • Yao Xiong University of Pittsburgh



test preparation, state test performance, racial differences, Measure of Effective Teaching (MET)


The passage of the NCLB Act enhanced accountability policies in the United States, and standardized testing became prevalent as a policy tool to ensure accountability in K-12 education. Given the high stakes of state administered accountability tests, more school teachers have adopted test-preparation strategies to ensure satisfactory student performance on state tests. However, it remains unclear as to whether and how test preparation relates to students’ state test performance. In this study, by drawing on the Measure of Effective Teaching (MET) longitudinal dataset, we examined the relationship between test preparation and students’ state test performance. We found that students with lower test performance in Year 1 received more test preparation in Year 2; however, the effects of test preparation on students’ state test performance were rather small and mixed. In regard to racial differences, we found that Black and Hispanic students received more test preparation than White students. Further, the effect of test preparation measured by the item “practicing for the state test” on state test performance was significantly greater for Black and Hispanic students than for White students. The implications of the study, its limitations, and directions for future research are also discussed.


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Author Biographies

Hongli Li, Georgia State University

Hongli Li, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Her research interests include applied measurement in education and quantitative methods.

Yao Xiong, University of Pittsburgh

Yao Xiong, PhD, is a Research Associate at the Learning Research and Development Center of the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include web-based peer assessment, applying Bayesian methods in educational measurement, and educational data mining.




How to Cite

Li, H., & Xiong, Y. (2018). The relationship between test preparation and state test performance: Evidence from the Measure of Effective Teaching (MET) project. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26, 64.