WWC review of this study

The effects of teaching practice review items and test-taking strategies on the ACT mathematics scores of second-year algebra students (Doctoral dissertation).

McMann, P. K. (1994). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 9423737)

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grades

Reviewed: October 2016

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
General academic achievement (high school) outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Practice ACT mathematics exam

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

10 Weeks

Full sample;
196 students




More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Practice ACT mathematics exam

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

10 Weeks

100 students





Practice ACT mathematics exam

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

10 Weeks

96 students





Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 51%
    Male: 49%

  • Suburban
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This study took place at one suburban high school located in southeastern Michigan. The author described the location as a predominantly blue-collar community. The racial make-up of the school is predominantly White (97%). The high school’s total enrollment is 1,410 students.

Study sample

The sample in this study consisted of tenth- and eleventh-grade students across eight different second-year algebra course sections. Four of the sections were intervention sections and were randomly assigned 99 students. The comparison group also had four class sections and were randomly assigned 97 students. There were a total of four teachers, with two instructing intervention sections and two instructing comparison sections. The author reports that there were 45 (45%) males and 54 (55%) females in the intervention group and 51 males (53%) and 46 females (47%) in the comparison group. No other demographic characteristics were provided for the sample.

Intervention Group

The intervention lasted 10 weeks. Students took the ACT pretest prior to the implementation of the intervention. Students then participated in their normal second year algebra course using the Algebra II and Trigonometry textbooks. Test-taking strategies and practice ACT items were reviewed during the course along with the regular curriculum. These materials came from suggested items from the ACT or were written by the researcher. Once the intervention was complete, students took the ACT posttest.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group also took the ACT pretest and posttest following implementation of the intervention. The comparison students received the regular curriculum of the second year algebra course, using the same Algebra II and Trigonometry textbooks as the intervention group. Comparison group students did not learn additional test-taking strategies or review practice test items.

Support for implementation

No information was provided regarding support for implementation.


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