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Social Processes: Methodology · Types of test

Testwiseness arises from the practice effect of taking many tests and this may confer an advantage for experienced over naive subjects, when they are of otherwise even aptitude or intelligence etc. Sometimes people may organise test coaching in order to gain this advantage.


Thorndike (1951)[1] first conceptualized "test wiseness" as a variable that can affect test scores. Thorndike viewed test wiseness as a general and lasting characteristic of the individual and a prominent source of score variance on cognitive tests second in its influence only to in­dividual cognitive ability. More specifically, Millman, Bishop, and Ebel ( 1965 , p. 707)[2] defined test wiseness as the "subject's capacity to utilize the characteristics and formats of the test and/or the test taking situation to receive a high score. Test wiseness is logically indepen­dent of the examinee's knowledge of the subject matter for which the items are supposedly measures."[3]

Testwiseness in educational psychology[]

Testwiseness in clinical psychology[]

Testwiseness in occupational psychology[]

See also[]



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This article incorporates text from the Citizendium, which is in the public domain.

  1. Thorndike, R.L. (1951) Reliability. In Lindquist, E.F. (ed.), Educational Measurement. ACE, Washington DC, pp. 560–620.
  2. Millman J., Bishop, H., & Ebel, R. An analysis of test-wiseness. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 1965, 25, 707-726.
  3. Borrello, Gloria M., Thompson, B. (1985). Correlates of Selected Test-Wiseness Skills. Journal of Experimental Education 53.