Subgroup Differences on the GRE Quantitative Test Based on the Underlying Cognitive Processes and Knowledge

Authored by: Kikumi K. Tatsuoka , Gwyneth M. Boodoo

Handbook of Research Design in Mathematics and Science Education

Print publication date:  April  2000
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780805832815
eBook ISBN: 9781410602725
Adobe ISBN: 9781135705831


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The cognitive processing and knowledge requirements of individuals taking the Graduate Record Examination Quantitative Test (GRE–Q) were investigated by K. K. Tatsuoka and Gallagher (in press). The study described in this chapter adopted their findings, especially the cognitive processing and knowledge requirements called “attributes,” for investigating subgroup differences such as major field of study, gender, and racial-ethnic backgrounds of students taking the GRE–Q. The study also investigated the effects of content, contexts, and processing variables on students’ performance on a GRE–Q. The taxonomy that divides the performance variables on mathematics tests into three categories—content, contexts, and processing variables—is based on Webb’s (1984) suggestions. The content variables consist of the domains of arithmetic, elementary and intermediate algebra, and geometry, and the context variables are problem types, answer types, and the presentation of the tasks. The processing requirements are adapted from K. K. Tatsuoka and Gallagher in which several protocols were studied.

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