DYNAMIC TEST-TAKING MOTIVATION: EFFECTS OF SELF-EFFICACY ON TIME ALLOCATION AND PERFORMANCE
Test-taking motivation has an important influence on test performance—one that can be influenced by characteristics of the testing situation. Furthermore, motivation is likely to vary significantly within-individuals over time as they perform a test. However, past research on test-taking motivation has taken a static, between-person approach. To address this limitation the current research examined within-person effects of self-efficacy on time allocation and test performance. Specifically, we found that the within-person relationship between self-efficacy and time allocation was dependent on whether the test was timed or untimed and whether goals were framed in terms of approach or avoidance. As predicted, self-efficacy was negatively related to time allocation in the timed condition and positively related to time allocation in the untimed condition. Also, self-efficacy effects were strongest when individuals were given approach-oriented goals, compared to avoid-oriented goals. Finally, time spent on a block of items had a curvilinear relationship with performance, yet the nature of this relationship was dependent upon whether the test was timed or untimed.