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Abstract

To determine the effect of retesting on student learning in chemistry, three questions were addressed by means of a 3 × 2 (achievement level X treatment) factorial design: (1) Does retesting affect differently the end-of-semester mastery of course objectives of students who are grouped according to their previous achievement in science? (2) Do students who are given an opportunity to take retests merely delay their studying and perform at a lower level on initial tests than nonretested students? (3) Is the procrastination of retested students (if it exists) affected by their achievement level? The results showed that for one of four units low ability students who were retested demonstrated greater learning gains than low ability students who were not retested, and that procrastination, if it was present, did not have significant effects on student learning at any achievement level. Results were discussed in terms of the students' room for improvement, motivation to improve, and ability to improve.