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ERIC Number: ED543317
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
A Guide to Computer Adaptive Testing Systems
Davey, Tim
Council of Chief State School Officers
Some brand names are used generically to describe an entire class of products that perform the same function. "Kleenex," "Xerox," "Thermos," and "Band-Aid" are good examples. The term "computerized adaptive testing" (CAT) is similar in that it is often applied uniformly across a diverse family of testing methods. Although the various members of this family share similar goals and employ similar means, they differ in important ways that can significantly impact how tests perform when delivered. This guide is intended to provide those responsible for procuring CAT systems with questions they can use to tease out differences across competing CAT delivery systems, and so make better-informed decisions. The scope of this guide is largely limited to differences across systems that can affect the quality, comparability, and usefulness of the test scores that a system produces. The substance of what is measured (the format and nature of the test questions) and test delivery issues (testing sites and test presentation software and hardware) will be considered only to the extent that they directly impact score properties. This guide is organized around the elements common to nearly all varieties of adaptive testing. To orient the reader to this framework, the guide begins with a brief introduction to adaptive testing methods and the sometimes arcane vocabulary that has grown up around those methods. Summary workbook is appended. (Contains 2 figures and 2 footnotes.)
Council of Chief State School Officers. One Massachusetts Avenue NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-336-7016; Fax: 202-408-8072; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Chief State School Officers