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A Study of Fatigue Effects from the New SAT SAT

Liu, Jinghua; Allspach, Jill R.; Feigenbaum, Miriam; Oh, Hyeon-Joo; Burton, Nancy W.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-04-46, CBR-2004-5
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
SAT, College Board, Fatigue, Essay Placement


This study evaluated whether the addition of a writing section to the SAT Reasoning TestTM (referred to the SAT® in this study) would impact test taker performance because of fatigue caused by increased test length. The study also investigated test takers' subjective feelings of fatigue. Ninety-seven test takers were randomly assigned to three groups: the first group took a current SAT with no essay; the second group took a pseudo new SAT composed of the current SAT plus an essay, with the essay appearing in the first section of the test; and the third group also took the pseudo new SAT with an essay, but with the essay in the last section. Test taker performance on the verbal and math section and the essay was then evaluated and compared. The results indicated that while the extended testing time for the new SAT may cause test takers to feel fatigued, fatigue did not affect test taker performance.

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