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Flawed Items in Computerized Adaptive Testing

Potenza, Maria T.; Stocking, Martha L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Adaptive Testing, Computer Assisted Testing, Monte Carlo Methods, Multiple-Choice Items, Test Construction, Test Items


A multiple-choice test item is identified as flawed if it has no single best answer. In spite of extensive quality control procedures, the administration of flawed items to test takers is inevitable. Common strategies for dealing with flawed items in conventional testing, grounded in the principle of fairness to test takers, are reexamined in the context of adaptive testing. An additional strategy, available for adaptive testing, of retesting from a pool cleansed of flawed items, is compared to the existing strategies. Retesting was found to be no practical improvement over current strategies.

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