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ERIC Number: ED406441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jan-23
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Basic Concepts in Item and Test Analysis.
Matlock-Hetzel, Susan
When norm-referenced tests are developed for instructional purposes, to assess the effects of educational programs, or for educational research purposes, it can be very important to conduct item and test analyses. These analyses can evaluate the quality of items and of the test as a whole. Such analyses can also be employed to revise and improve both items and the test as a whole. However, some best practices in item and test analysis are too infrequently used in actual practice. This paper summarizes recommendations for item and test analysis practices as are reported in commonly used textbooks. These practices are determination of item difficulty, item discrimination, and item distractors. Item difficulty is simply the percentage of students taking the test who answered the item correctly. The larger the percentage getting the item right, the easier the item. A good test item discriminates between those who do well on the test and those who do poorly. The item discrimination index and discrimination coefficients can be computed to determine the discriminating power of an item. In addition, analyzing the distractors (incorrect alternatives) is useful in determining the relative usefulness of the decoy items, which should be modified if students consistently fail to select certain multiple choice alternatives. These techniques can help provide empirical information about how tests are performing in real test situations. (Contains 7 tables and 13 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A