The present study addressed two research questions: (a) the extent to which students who were exposed to meta-cognitive instruction are able to implement meta-cognitive processes in a delayed, stressful situation, in our case—being examined on the matriculation exam; and (b) whether students preparing themselves for the matriculation exam in mathematics, attain a higher level of mathematics achievement and meta-cognitive awareness (knowledge about cognition and regulation of cognition) as a result of being exposed to meta-cognitive instruction. Participants were 61 Israeli high school students who studied mathematics for four-point credit on the matriculation exam (middle level). About half of the students (N = 31) were assigned to meta-cognitive instruction, called IMPROVE, and the others (N = 30) studied with no explicit meta-cognitive guidance (control group). Analyses included both quantitative and qualitative methods. The later was based on students’ interviews, conducted about a couple of months after the end of the intervention, immediately after students completed the matriculation exam in mathematics. Results indicated that IMPROVE students outperformed their counterparts on mathematics achievement and regulation of cognition, but not on knowledge about cognition. Furthermore, during the matriculation exam, IMPROVE students executed different kinds of cognitive regulation processes than the control students. The theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed.
Meta-cognitive instruction IMPROVE meta-cognitive awareness Knowledge about cognition Regulation of cognition Mathematics achievement