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Patterns of Test and Item Difficulty for Six Foreign Language Groups on the Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL

Angoff, William H.; Sharon, Amiel T.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, English Tests, Factor Analysis, Foreign Language Tests, Item Analysis, Test Construction, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)


Two factor-analyses of variance with multiple measurements on one factor were conducted for the five sections of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and six language groups, and also for the items of each section, based on data collected at the first administration of this form of the test, in October 1969, the principal findings, that the Test x Group interaction and the Item x Group interactions were significant, indicated that some tests and some items were relatively more difficult for some language groups than for others. Displays of the Item x Group interactions were made by analyzing the item difficulty plots for each language group against a spaced sample of all candidates taking this form of the test in October 1969. A measure of the deviation of each item from the central tendency of the plot was developed, expressing the degree to which the item was especially difficult--or easy--for a particular language group relative to the other items. Distributions of these measures are given for each of the five parts of TOEFL, for each of the six language groups. (Author) (36pp.)

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