1 Department of Foreign Languages, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Foreign Languages, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch , Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran


This study scrutinized the interaction between linguistic and strategic variables in reading comprehension test performance of Iranian EFL learners. To this end, the interaction among the participants’ reading comprehension test performance, use of test-taking strategies, and level of language proficiency was analyzed. The participants comprised 286 students who answered a reading comprehension test and a test-taking strategy questionnaire. In addition, 25 students participated in a retrospective interview at the end of the study and described their strategic processes of test taking. The findings manifested a significant interaction among the use of test-taking strategies, level of reading proficiency, and test performance of the examinees. The more proficient test takers used the strategies more frequently than did the less proficient test takers. The qualitative findings also confirmed the quantitative findings and revealed the underlying nonlinguistic reasons for the differences in the frequency and type of the strategies used by the test takers. The findings reflected that the observed scores did not manifest true ability of language learners, and true score should be calculated with regard to nonlinguistic variables, particularlytest-taking strategies. The findings provide empirical support for Bachman’s classical true score measurement theory and Bachman’s framework for the factors affecting test performance.


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