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Sequential Testing for Dichotomous Decisions

Linn, Robert L.; Rock, Donald A.; Cleary, T. Anne
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, Achievement Tests, Adaptive Testing, College Students, Individualized Instruction, Test Construction


Two sequential testing procedures for dichotomous decisions were investigated using existing item response data of 4840 college students on three achievement tests. The assignment rules for the sequential test procedures and for short conventional tests were developed using half the sample of students and cross-validated using the other half. In general, the first type of sequential test required an average of approximately half as many items as the short conventional test for a given degree of accuracy. This is in close agreement with previous theoretical results. The second type of sequential test used knowledge of assignment on one dimension in making the assignment on the second method. The efficacy of this second method depends heavily on the relationship between the two dimensions.

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