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On the Relative Value of Multiple-Choice, Constructed Response, and Examinee-Selected Items on Two Achievement Tests AP IRT

Lukhele, Robert; Thissen, David; Wainer, Howard
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Advanced Placement Program (AP), Chemistry Tests, Constructed Response Items, History Tests, Item Choice, Item Response Theory (IRT), Item Types, Multiple Choice Items, Test Format


(24pp.) Using analyses based on fitting item response models to data from the College Board's Advanced Placement exams in Chemistry and United States History, we found that the constructed-response portion of the tests yielded little information over and above that provided by the multiple-choice sections. These tests also allow examinees to select subsets of the constructed-response items; we found that scoring on the basis of the selections themselves provided almost as much information as did scoring on the basis of the answers. Finally, we found that the chemistry test was too difficult for its primary goal, but that this could be at least partially corrected by taking into account information in the wrong answers to the multiple-choice items.

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