A Statistical Look at Which Day Is the Best to Test?

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Susan Fries
Project Paper

As a principal of an elementary school, I am always looking for ways to improve my student’s testing scores. I am located in the heart of the most crime ridden area in Indianapolis. Since my students have many environmental issues at home, I wanted to set up the best testing situation possible in my school. I want them to have every opportunity and chance to do well on any test that they take.

When testing elementary students, many factors must be in place. One such factor that I have often wondered about is the day students take the test. I wanted to know if there was a noticeable difference on the day the students took the test. I began my research by deciding how I would attempt to answer this question. I had to ask myself what would be the best way to get the most reliable results? I must admit, I changed my mind several times trying to figure out the best way to help my students.

Finally, I had a plan. I would give the same test to 5 students in 5 different classes on the five days of the weeks. These students would be randomly chosen so the results would be fair. I would compare the means to see if there was a significant difference in days to test students.

First, I sent home a letter to parents asking permission to test their children if they were chosen for my research. I then had the teacher draw 5 names in each of the 5 classrooms for my research. Each day of the week, I had a different group of students. I gave them the same test on different days at the exact same time: 10:00, in the exact same way. I scripted everything I would say and read it to each group verbatim.

I then put the information in SPSS. Here are the results:







As I looked at the results, it was obvious that Tuesday is the best day to test from the data I collected. Thursday would be the second best, followed by Monday. The data showed that if...
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