ERIC Number: ED064324
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972-Apr
Reference Count: 0
To Change or Not to Change Item Responses When Taking Tests: Empirical Evidence for Test Takers.
Lynch, Daniel O.; Smith, Billie C.
Results of research conducted to ascertain the effect on test grades of changing answer choices are presented. The main questions that were examined were: (1) Does the changing of responses to test items (presumably based upon item reconsideration) result in better test scores?; (2) Is the amount of changes related to the score a person receives on the test?; (3) Is the pattern of changes related to the score a person receives on the test?; and (4) Does item difficulty correlate with the probability of changing a given item? Subjects were 178 university students taking final exams. The tests were composed of true-false and multiple-choice items, and most students had more than adequate time to reconsider items. All subjects were made aware of the nature of the research. The results are presented as to the effects of response changes on test scores, relationship of amount of changes to score, relationship of pattern of changes to score, and relationship of item difficulty to response changing. The current research underscores a previous finding that students who change their responses raise their scores; however, repeated changes on the same item did not improve their scores. The results also show that item difficulty is positively correlated with the probability of changing a given item, indicating that reasoned reconsideration of items was involved rather than chance misreadings of items. It also has bearing on amount and pattern of changes. (DB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, Illinois, April 1972)