ERIC Number: ED382656
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Optional Use of Calculators on a Mathematical Test: Effect on Item Difficulty and Score Equating.
Lawrence, Ida M.; Dorans, Neil J.
This paper describes findings from two studies involving optional use of calculators on Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) mathematical items. The first study looked at the effects of calculator use on estimates of item difficulty. The second study looked at the effect of calculator use on equating results from an anchor test design. Study 1, involving 46,637 students using calculators and 45,765 without calculators, looked at data on specific items that became inappropriate for a test that permits calculators because the skills measured by the item administered with a calculator are quite different when the item is administered without a calculator. Study 2, involving 1,900 high school juniors with calculators and 1,860 without, showed that, because the use of a calculator sometimes makes items easier, any equating design that utilizes an anchor test design needs to ensure that the anchor test is administered under the same conditions, i.e. with a calculator or without a calculator. A solution for making this adjustment with a special equating study is described. One figure and five tables present study findings. (Contains 9 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.
Identifiers: Anchor Tests; Scholastic Aptitude Test