The Review of the Article `Test-taking Strategies for a High-stakes Writing Test: An Exploratory Study of 12 Chinese EFL Learners’ by ROZANA SHAMSABADI


This review, grew from the original article by Yun Xuand Zunmin Wu , aims to report on a qualitative research study into the test-taking strategies employed in completing two picture prompt writing tasks—Situational Writing and Interpretational Writing in the Beijing Matriculation English Test. The research reveals a variety of test-taking strategies involved in completion of the two tasks. Based on the strategies employed, the results proved the presence of similarities in having the same starts according to the first picture, having parallel narrations, applying equal effort to each picture, not missing essential information of the pictures, and adding an ending to their narration in all participants’ writings. Students strived to guess test-developers’ intent and figure out the “best” theme instead of freely expressing their own interpretations. What the results of this study reveal is that they might fail to achieve the crucial goal of measuring creative thinking .The researcher found that the original intention of Interpretational Writing had been badly distorted. The present review of this article has attempted to explore the extent to which this paper fulfils the stated aims by having a cautious look through the papers` methodology in general and participants’ choices in details.

Keywords: EFL learners, Test-taking Strategies, High-stakes Writing Test

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