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Eliminating Differentially Difficult Items as an Approach to Test Bias

Flaugher, Ronald L.; Schrader, William B.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Item Analysis, Test Bias, Test Items


The relative changes that came about from the elimination of questionable items are displayed. Data from relative percentile rankings are used separately for the original and modified versions of the test. Shortening the verbal test from 85 to 73 items lowers the reliability from .90 to .89 for Whites and from .87 to .82 for Blacks. Shortening the test had relatively little effect on score differences between Black and White students. The method of selecting items for elimination resulted in tests that were decidedly more difficult for both student groups. The value of this method is limited for use in test development. (SGK) (16pp.)

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