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ERIC Number: EJ1052855
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0734-2829
Interpreting Secondary Students' Performance on a Timed, Multiple-Choice Reading Comprehension Assessment: The Prevalence and Impact of Non-Attempted Items
Clemens, Nathan H.; Davis, John L.; Simmons, Leslie E.; Oslund, Eric L.; Simmons, Deborah C.
Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, v33 n2 p154-165 Apr 2015
Standardized measures are often used as an index of students' reading comprehension and scores have important implications, particularly for students who perform below expectations. This study examined secondary-level students' patterns of responding and the prevalence and impact of non-attempted items on a timed, group-administered, multiple-choice test of reading comprehension. The Reading Comprehension subtest from the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test was administered to 694 students in Grades 7 to 9. Students were categorized according to their test performance (low-, middle-, and high-achieving). Scores of the lowest achieving subgroup were affected significantly by high rates of non-attempted items, particularly on the later third of the test. Furthermore, the percentage of students who completed the assessment was far below that reported by the test authors. The results send a cautionary message to researchers and educators that, when text comprehension is the primary assessment target, to consider rates of non-attempted items and their impact on interpreting students' text processing skills. Practical considerations are presented.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Gates MacGinitie Reading Tests
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305F100013