Which of the following is more grammatically correct?
a. John's performance on the test shocked the teacher.
b. John's performance in the test shocked the teacher.
Performance really depends on the object: You perform IN a play but you perform ON a stage so:
So really your question comes down to: do you perform on a test? Do you perform in a test? I would lead towards "on" because of other usage:
Then again, if we are really talking about an implied "performance in taking" the test, suddenly this could be correct:
However I would also go ahead and call both of them "awkward". I would avoid entirely and use
Or best of all, use K.I.S.S. and avoid the problem altogether:
I think if it is a written test, we most often say performance on the test (maybe because we "put our ideas down on paper"), but if it is measuring abilities in an environment, e.g. response times, or skill comparisons (before and after, etc) we use performance in the test.