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Free-Response and Multiple-Choice Items: Measures of the Same Ability? AP APCS

Bennett, Randy Elliot; Rock, Donald A.; Wang, Minhwei
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Report Number:
ETS Research Report
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Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Advanced Placement Program (AP), Computer Science Tests, Constructed-Response Tests, Free Response Tests, Item Types, Multiple Choice Items, Open-Ended Items, Test Construction, Test Format


This study examined the relationship of multiple-choice and free-response items contained on the College Board's Advanced Placement Computer Science (APCS) examination. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the fit of a two-factor model where each item format marked its own factor. Results showed a single-factor solution to fit the data best in each of two random-half samples. This finding might be accounted for by several mechanisms, including overlap in the specific processes assessed by the multiple-choice and free-response items, and the limited opportunity for skill differentiation afforded by the year-long APCS course. (39pp.)

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