Do Content Area Passages Affect Student Performance on Reading Comprehension Tests?

Research output: Book/ReportReportpeer-review


A study conducted in Israel investigated the relevance of subject-specific reading passages to performance on reading comprehension tests for advanced university students of English as a second language. The research specifically examined (1) whether students performed better when the reading test content was directly related to their field of study or when the content was in another field but of comparable difficulty and comprehensible to the educated layman, and (2) whether the position of a text in a multiple-text exam affects reading comprehension performance. Results showed that comprehension was affected in some cases by content, but less than expected, a finding possibly explained by individuals' English reading competence or by the broad groupings of fields of study (science and technology, humanities, and biology). The order of presentation did not seem to affect performance, which has implications for situations in which different forms of the same test are desirable. (MSE)
Original languageEnglish
PublisherERIC Clearinghouse
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 1986


  • Advanced Courses
  • Decoding (Reading)
  • English (Second Language)
  • English for Special Purposes
  • Foreign Countries
  • Higher Education
  • Israel
  • Language Tests
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Reading Research
  • Reading Tests
  • Test Format
  • Test Items


Dive into the research topics of 'Do Content Area Passages Affect Student Performance on Reading Comprehension Tests?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this