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An Investigation of Item Bias PSAT

Cleary, T. Anne; Hilton, Thomas L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Entrance Examinations, PSAT, Racial Differences, Social Differences, Test Bias


For this research, bias was defined as an item x group interaction. Grade 12 students in integrated high schools who had taken two forms of the PSAT were divided into two races and three socioeconomic levels within the races. Four analyses of variance were performed: one for the Verbal section and one for the Mathematical section of each of the two forms of the PSAT. Because of the large sample sizes used, the tested effects were expected to be and were significant. However, only a minimal percentage of the total variance was contributed by the item x group interactions. On this basis, it was concluded that, if PSAT scores are discriminatory, the discrimination is not largely attributable to particular items, but to the test as a whole.

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