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A Study of the Effects of Item Option Rearrangement on the Listening Comprehension Section of the Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL

Golub-Smith, Marna L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-87-17, TOEFL-RR-24
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Item Analysis, Listening Comprehension, Test Construction, Test Items, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)


The study was conducted to provide information for the TOEFL® program about the effects of option rearrangement as a means of increasing test security during administrations of the listening comprehension section of the TOEFL test. Two forms, consisting of items whose options were systematically scrambled, were spiraled together with the base versions during the pretesting phase of test development. The results indicated that scrambling an item's options does produce differences in both the estimated item response functions and equating functions. Therefore, it was recommended that this procedure not be adopted for the operational program.

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