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ERIC Number: EJ1091824
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1531-7714
Getting Lucky: How Guessing Threatens the Validity of Performance Classifications
Foley, Brett P.
Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, v21 n3 Feb 2016
There is always a chance that examinees will answer multiple choice (MC) items correctly by guessing. Design choices in some modern exams have created situations where guessing at random through the full exam--rather than only for a subset of items where the examinee does not know the answer--can be an effective strategy to pass the exam. This paper describes two case studies to illustrate this problem, discusses test development decisions that can help address the situation, and provides recommendations to testing professionals to help identify when guessing at random can be an effective strategy to pass the exam.
Center for Educational Assessment. 813 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002. e-mail:; Tel: 413-577-2180; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A