The issue of reward and motivation are crucial to teachers, parents and other care-givers. A plethora of factors have been identified to affect students test performance. A reward, tangible or intangible, is often presented before or after the occurrence of an action (i.e. behaviour) with the intent to cause the behaviour to occur again. This is done by associating positive meaning to the behaviour. This study, carried out among first year Covenant University students explored the effect of motivation on test performance. Randomization was employed to select the participants and place them into two groups (experimental and control) with three conditions. Many commentators argue that schools react only to bad behaviour and do nothing to recognise or reinforce the good behaviour of most young people most of the time. This work, therefore, provides a new vista to understanding how verbal praise, encouragement and primary reinforcers could improve students? academic performance. In conclusion, this study justifies the importance of motivation in improving students? test performance.