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The Development and Evaluation of Several Programmed Testing Methods

Cleary, T. Anne; Linn, Robert L.; Rock, Donald A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Correlation, Criterion-Referenced Tests, Individualized Tests, Statistical Analysis, Test Construction, Test Theory


Seven programmed test procedures were developed and investigated using existing data on 190 verbal-type items for 4,885 students. Tests were scored as if the student had taken items in the order implied by the test. Shortened conventional tests were also scored for comparative purposes. The criteria against which these procedures were evaluated were the 190-item total test score and four outside criterion tests. Against the criterion of reproducing the 190-item total test score in the cross-validation sample the programmed tests were found to be only slightly superior to the shortened conventional tests. However, the programmed tests had correlations with the outside criterion tests that were substantially higher than the corresponding shortened conventional tests. It was estimated that a test which was parallel to the 190-item total test would have to be 3.36 times as long as the best programmed test to have an equal median correlation with the outside criterion tests.

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