Students predicted future test performance and assessed past performance on questions tapping important sentences, questions tapping unimportant sentences, and higher order questions that did not explicitly tap specific sentences. In Experiment 1, predictions were accurate only for higher order questions, but posttest confidence judgments were most accurate for the questions directly tapping text sentences. In Experiment 2, student control of reading was removed, and predictions were accurate for both unimportant questions and higher order questions, although predictions for unimportant questions may have been based on prior knowledge. Both experiments show that students can predict their performance on higher order test questions better than on questions tapping specific sentences in a text, suggesting that they use an overall understanding of the text in making such predictions. In addition, posttest confidence judgments were most consistently accurate for questions tapping the details in the text.
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