The present study aimed at investigating the effect of question’s types (essay vs. multiple-choice), question’s levels (remember - an - instance RI, remember- a - generality RG, and Use - a - generality UG), in one hand and Student’s ability (high, medium, and low), on the other hand, on students’ academic achievement. To accomplish this aim, a random sample consisted of one-hundred and forty freshman university students at An-Najah National University were presented with a 1159 - word passage chosen from their required university textbook University English I. The sample of this study was randomly assigned into seven groups: Six groups were given the passage followed with post-passage questions. Three groups were exposed to multiple-choice questions written on three levels of learning according to Merrill’s Taxonomy - Remember - an - Instance (RI), Remember - a - Generality (RG), and Use - a - generality (UG). Three other groups were exposed to essay questions written on the same mentioned learning levels (RI, RG, and UG). One group was used as a control group which was given the passage only without any post-passage questions. A 19-item posttest comprised of two types of questions (essay and multiple-choice) were written on the passage measuring all specific and general information on three levels of learning (RI, RG, and UG). The RI and RG posttest questions were the same as those which appeared in the passage during the experiment. The UG posttest questions were not the same as those which appeared in the passage during the experiment, otherwise they will measure the remember of application level rather than the application level itself. Three-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) design 2x3x3 (types of questions: essay and multiple-choice, levels of questions: RI, RG, and UG, and students ability: high, medium, and low) was used for analyzing the data of the study by using ‘F’ test. One Way Analysis of Variance (1x7) was also used to compare the six experimental groups with the control group. “Scheffe” test was used whenever the general ‘F’ test revealed significant differences on .05 level. The major results that the researcher found significant on some sub-tests were the following :
· On the remember - an - instance multiple-choice sub-test, there was a significant difference main effect for question levels which indicated that RG question level was better than UG and RI question levels respectively.
· On the remember - an - instance essay sub-test, there was a significant main effect for question types which indicated that multiple-choice type had a greater effect on student’s academic achievement than essay question type.
· On the remember - a - generality multiple-choice sub-test, there was a significant main effect for question types which indicated that essay type had a greater effect on student’s academic achievement than the multiple-choice type.
· On the use - a - generality essay sub-test, there was a significant main effect for question levels which indicated that RG question level had a greater effect on student’s academic achievement than UG and RI question levels respectively. But on the overall learning, the directions of the means showed the following results, though it was no significant difference:
1.Students who received remember - a - generality (RG) then who received use - a - generality (UG) level questions performed better than their colleagues who received remember - an - instance (RI)level questions.
2.Students who received essay questions performed better than students who received the multiple-choice questions.
3.The performance of the experimental groups who were exposed to post-passage questions was higher than the performance of the control group who were not exposed to any type of question during experiment.
4.High student’s ability performed significantly better than the medium then the low student’s ability.Based on these results, the researcher recommended teachers:
1) to use the RG level questions frequently in order to help students to understand the intended text and then to answer the higher level of questions like the application level.
2) to use the essay type questions frequently in order to promote students’cognitive strategies deeply, hence to increase their academic achievement on all levels of learning.