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Study of the Relevance of Items in CEEB Science Tests for Special Curricula CEEB

Malcolm, Donald J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), Chemistry, College Entrance Examinations, Item Analysis, Science Tests, Secondary School Science, Test Items, Test Validity


This study was undertaken to see whether or not students who had taken the Chemical Bond Approach course in chemistry or any of the three courses developed in connection with the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study would likely be at a disadvantage relative to conventionally trained students on the CEEB Achievement Tests in Biology and Chemistry. Teachers of each of the new courses and of the conventional courses rated each item on Form JAC of the achievement tests in question with respect to its suitability for students in their classes as of March 18th (the actual testing date) and as of the end of the course. Results show: 1) numbers of items judged as appropriate or inappropriate; 2) agreement of teachers' judgments, within curricula, of items inappropriate at any time; 3) relationship between curricula and items judged inappropriate at any time; and 4) relationship between judgments of appropriateness of items and teacher performance on the tests. In general, students in some versions of the new courses appear to be at a disadvantage relative to the students from the conventional courses under some circumstances; specific items identified as unsuitable at any time tended to be unique to the teacher making the judgments for conventional students, but not for new-program students; there appears to be a tendency for teachers to judge an item as "inappropriate at any time" if they do not know the answer to the item. (JGL)

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