reading, contextual guessing, extra-curriculum, clues, on-line dictionary


A high percentage of bachelor test-takers who failed the unified entrance examination test in 2021 demonstrated the lack of adequate reading strategies such as contextual guessing for improving exam performance. The study aims at evaluating the use of contextual guessing strategy during extra-curriculum EFL classes as a way to improve students’ unified entrance examination performance. The present study also examines the impact of word formation as a component of contextual guessing strategy and the effectiveness of contextual guessing with online vocabulary application in exam preparation. A quasi-experimental design was employed which involved 24 third-year students from different departments of Higher Educational Institution "Podillia State University" in 2020-2021. The quantitative research method was employed to assess the effectiveness of using contextual guessing to improve students’ test performance using the mean score formula. Additionally, we produced a test statistic based on the ranks (Mann–Whitney U-criterion). The results showed that the experimental group that was taught the strategy of guessing unknown words with the help of word-formation processes, and contextual clues, in particular, and applied the vocabulary platform for fixing and retaining guessed words had higher results than those who were taught unified entrance examination tests with the help of the grammar-translation method. Based on Mann–Whitney U-criterion we have statistically significant evidence to conclude that contextual guessing significantly affects EFL learners’ test performance in experimental and control groups. The guide on word formation was designed during the experiment.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Olha Chaikovska, State Agrarian and Engineering University

Foreign languages department

Alla Bodnar, Higher Education Institution "Podillia State University"

Department of Law, Professional, Social and Humanitarian Education

PhD in Historical Science

Valentyna Spivachuk, Khmelnytskyi National University

Foreign Languages Department

PhD in Philological Sciences, Associate Professor


  1. Ahmad, I. S., & Asraf, R. M. (2004). Making sense of text: Strategies used by good and average readers. The Reading Matrix, 4(1), 26-37. Retrieved 3 December 2021 from
  2. Alsaawi, A. (2013). To What Extent Guessing the Meaning, from the Context, is Helpful in Teaching Vocabulary. SSRN Electronic Journal.
  3. Bensoussan, M., & Laufer, B. (1984). Lexical Guessing in Context in EFL Reading Comprehension. Journal of Research in Reading, 7(1), 15–32.
  4. Çetinavcı, B. M. (2014). Contextual Factors in Guessing Word Meaning from Context in a Foreign Language. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, 2670–2674.
  5. Chaikovska, O. & Humeniuk, I. (2021). Anhliiska mova: chastyny movy i slovotvir. Pidhotovka do YeVI: navchalnyi posibnyk [English: parts of speech and word. Preparing for the EVI: Tutorial]. Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine: SAEUP.
  6. Chaikovska, O., & Zbaravska, L. (2020). The efficiency of Quizlet-based EFL vocabulary learning in preparing undergraduates for state English exam. Advanced Education, 7(14), 84–90.
  7. Clarke, D., & Nation, I. (1980). Guessing the meanings of words from context: Strategy and techniques. System, 8(3), 211–220.
  8. Gablasova, D. (2015). Learning technical words through L1 and L2: Completeness and accuracy of word meanings. English for Specific Purposes, 39, 62-74.
  9. Inal, S. (2021). The effect of contextual guessing strategy on identifying the meaning of low-frequency words and behaviours of Turkish EFL students in identifying unknown words. European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 5(3).
  10. Jenkins, J. R., Stein, M. L., & Wysocki, K. (1984). Learning Vocabulary Through Reading. American Educational Research Journal, 21(4), 767–787.
  11. Kaivanpanah, S., & Alavi, M. (2008). Deriving Unknown Word Meaning from Context. RELC Journal, 39(1), 77–95.
  12. Kanatlar, G. M., & Gül Peker, B. (2009). Guessing-Words-In-Context Strategies Used by Beginning and Upper-Intermediate Level EFL Students. The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, 16(5), 435–444.
  13. Lantolf, J. P., & Poehner, M. E. (2014). Sociocultural Theory and the Pedagogical Imperative in L2 Education: Vygotskian Praxis and the Research/Practice Divide (ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series) (1st ed.). Routledge.
  14. Lee, K. R., & Oxford, R. (2008). Understanding EFL learners’ strategy use and strategy awareness. Asian EFL Journal, 10(1), 7-32. Retrieved 3 September 2021 from
  15. Mokhtar, A. A., & Mohd Rawian, R. (2012). Guessing Word Meaning from Context Has Its Limit: Why? International Journal of Linguistics, 4(2).
  16. Nassaji, H. (2003). L2 Vocabulary Learning from Context: Strategies, Knowledge Sources, and Their Relationship with Success in L2 Lexical Inferencing. TESOL Quarterly, 37(4), 645-670.
  17. Pince, P. (1996). Second Language Vocabulary Learning: The Role of Context versus Translations as a Function of Proficiency. The Modern Language Journal, 80(4), 478–493.
  18. Rapaport, W. J., & Kibby, M. W. (2010). Contextual vocabulary acquisition: From algorithm to curriculum. In IEMC'03 Proceedings. Managing Technologically Driven Organizations: The Human Side of Innovation and Change (IEEE Cat. No. 03CH37502) (pp. 306-311). IEEE.
  19. Taufan, M. Y. (2020). Improving Students’ Vocational Vocabulary Mastery through Context Clues Technique. Edumaspul: Jurnal Pendidikan, 4(2), 347 - 354. Retrieved 11 November 2021 from
  20. Thornbury, S. (2002). From Scott Thornbury. ELT Journal, 56(4), 441.
  21. Walters, J. (2006). Methods of Teaching Inferring Meaning from Context. RELC Journal, 37(2), 176–190.




How to Cite

Chaikovska, O. ., Bodnar, A. ., & Spivachuk, V. . (2022). MASTERING TEST-TAKING READING SKILLS WITH CONTEXTUAL GUESSING: THE CASE OF UNIFIED ENTRANCE EXAM. Advanced Education, 9(20), 108–114.