Writing is a complex, recursive, and strategic process that requires metacognitive competencies. Skillful writers have a high level of metacognitive strategy knowledge (MSK) and use strategies effectively. MSK about writing describes a person’s verbalizable knowledge and awareness of memory, comprehension, and higher order processes that underlie skillful writing. Measurement instruments assessing students’ MSK about academic writing in higher education that can be used for group settings and large samples are lacking.
The aim of this article is to describe the development of a new MSK test instrument. The MSK test consists of three different writing scenarios related to the three self-regulated writing phases: planning prior to composing full text, monitoring the writing during composition, and subsequent revision.
The findings of a pre-study (N = 51) and two studies (N = 23; N = 113) showed that the new MSK test is economical in use, is reliable and has high content validity. Further, the findings demonstrated external validity of the new instrument in terms of relationships with students’ metacognitive strategy use and writing performance. Implications for future research and educational practice are discussed.