Testwiseness, also referred to in the literature as test-wiseness, was first conceptualized in the early 1950s by Robert Thorndike, who described it as a factor that differed across individuals, had an influence on test performance, and contributed significantly to test score variance among individuals. The earliest and most well-known definition of testwiseness comes from the work of Jason Millman, Carol Bishop, and Robert Ebel who in 1965 defined testwiseness as
a subject’s capacity to utilize the characteristics and formats of the test and/or the test-taking situation to receive a high score. Test-wiseness is logically independent of the examinee’s knowledge of the subject matter for which items are supposedly measures … . it will be restricted to the actual taking of (not preparing for) objective achievement and ...
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