WWC review of this study

The impact of computer-assisted coaching on the elevation of twelfth-grade students’ SAT scores (Doctoral dissertation).

McClain, T. B. (1999). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 9945906)

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: October 2016

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards without reservations
General academic achievement (high school) outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Final SAT scores

ACT/SAT Test Preparation and Coaching Programs vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Davidson Intervention;
40 students




More Outcomes

Final SAT scores

ACT/SAT Test Preparation and Coaching Programs vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Stanford Intervention;
40 students





Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 57%
    Male: 43%
  • Race

  • Suburban
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This study took place at one suburban high school in Maryland, near the Washington, DC area. The majority of students in the high school were Black. The school is located in a suburban county with a population of approximately 764,000. The author reported that residents in this county have an Effective Buying Income (EBI) that is 17% higher than the average US EBI.

Study sample

All 60 students in the sample were high school seniors. The sample of students included 26 males (43%) and 34 females (57%), all of whom were Black. No other demographic characteristics specific to the study sample were reported.

Intervention Group

Students were randomly assigned to participate in either The Stanford Study Guide for the SAT or Davidson’s Your Personal Trainer for the SAT. Intervention group students were excused from their regular classroom three times per week for 1 hour to use the test preparation programs. During this time, students would go to the computer lab, where they worked with one of the two computer coaching programs. Students receiving the intervention spent 26 hours with the program over the course of 9 weeks.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group were not offered the computerized coaching programs and continued with their curriculum in their regular classrooms. These students took the SAT at the same time as the intervention students, both at pretest and posttest.

Support for implementation

No information was provided regarding support for implementation.


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