A Generalization of the Relationship Between the Number Of Test Attempts a Student Takes on the Result of the Summative Assessment in an Undergraduate Class


  • SHAWN MALIK Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Intern
  • Mihai Boicu Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Mentor




There has long been speculation as to if students benefit from additional test attempts
and whether this actually benefits their learning experience. Especially in modern-day testing,
many teachers offer retake opportunities to students. This research project delves into the impact
that additional formative test attempts have on the increase in test scores. In this research project,
I analyzed the difference in students’ grades depending on the number of attempts they took a
test. Looking at the number of attempts on the test and the grade, a generalization can be made as
to how much exactly the additional attempts affected the student’s overall score and student
learning. The data was first anonymized, using random generated codes for students,
assignments, and course sections. Then, we aggregated the data from multiple sections of the
course, obtaining for each student: the average best grade over the considered assignments after
3 attempts, 4-7 attempts, and more than 7 attempts. We are still processing the results. The
results will be relevant because they will identify if allowing an unlimited number of attempts or
setting a limit makes a statistical difference and may guide formative test design in the future





College of Engineering and Computing: Department of Information Sciences and Technology