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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Joe Elliott

Vogelaar, B., Bakker, M., Elliott, J.G. & Resing, W.C.M. (2017). Dynamic testing and test anxiety amongst gifted and average-ability children. British Journal of Educational Psychology 87(1): 75-89.

Author(s) from Durham


Dynamic testing has been proposed as a testing approach that is less disadvantageous for children who may be potentially subject to bias when undertaking conventional assessments. For example, those who encounter high levels of test anxiety, or who are unfamiliar with standardized test procedures, may fail to demonstrate their true potential or capabilities. While dynamic testing has proven particularly useful for special groups of children, it has rarely been used with gifted children.

We investigated whether it would be useful to conduct a dynamic test to measure the cognitive abilities of intellectually gifted children. We also investigated whether test anxiety scores would be related to a progression in the children's test scores after dynamic training.

Participants were 113 children aged between 7 and 8 years from several schools in the western part of the Netherlands. The children were categorized as either gifted or average-ability and split into an unguided practice or a dynamic testing condition.

The study employed a pre-test-training-post-test design. Using linear mixed modelling analysis with a multilevel approach, we inspected the growth trajectories of children in the various conditions and examined the impact of ability and test anxiety on progression and training benefits.

Results and conclusions
Dynamic testing proved to be successful in improving the scores of the children, although no differences in training benefits were found between gifted and average-ability children. Test anxiety was shown to influence the children's rate of change across all test sessions and their improvement in performance accuracy after dynamic training.