ERIC Number: ED189115
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Selected Item-Writing Practices on Test Performance: Can Relevant Grammatical Clues Result in Flawed Items?
Huntley, Renee M.; Plake, Barbara S.
Guidelines for test item-writing have traditionally recommended making the correct answer of a multiple-choice item grammatically consistent with its stem. To investigate the effects of adhering to this practice, certain item formats were designed to determine whether the practice of providing relevant grammatical clues, in itself, created cue sensitivity both for misdirection and direction. American College Test (Act) Assessment experimental social science items were constructed to investigate grammatical compliance in two particular situations: plural-singular and vowel-consonant (stem ending in a/an) agreement. Items were worded so that all situations were grammatically appropriate. Results suggested that subjects were sensitive to these cues, to some extent. It was suggested that rephrasing items into neutral, but still grammatically precise language--for example, including words such as a/an, or agency/agencies in stems--could eliminate this sensitivity. (Eight illustrative items are appended). (Author/GDC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Act Assessment; Distractors (Tests); Item Discrimination (Tests)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (64th, Boston, MA, April 7-11, 1980).