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Pyramid Power: Searching for an Error in Test Scoring With 830,000 Helpers PSAT

Wainer, Howard
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-81-27, PSRTR-81-14
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Item Analysis, Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), Scoring, Testing Problems


A mathematics item on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test was keyed incorrectly. This subsequently was discovered and became the subject of national attention. In this paper we examine the data generated by this item by almost 830,000 examinees and discover that detailed statistical analysis with even this enormous sample size would not have yielded clues to the blunder. The epistemological and practical consequences are also discussed. (21pp.)

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