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DIF Data on Free-Response SAT I Mathematical Items DIF SAT

Lawrence, Ida M.; Lyu, C. Felicia; Feigenbaum, Miriam D.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Differential Item Functioning (DIF), Free Response Tests, Mathematics, SAT, Test Items


The present research summarized Differential Item Functioning (DIF) results for Student Produced Response (SPR) items, a non-multiple choice mathematical item type in the SAT I. DIF data from four field trial pretest administrations (620 SPR items) and ten final forms (100 SPR items) were examined. For the Male/Female comparison, the SPR item type exhibits negligible DIF. The Male/Female DIF results for the SPR items resemble DIF results for the multiple choice items in the SAT. For the African American/White comparison, SPR items exhibit more DIF than the multiple choice items. (Moderate or sizable DIF on multiple choice items in the old or new SAT-M is rare.) In particular, when African American test takers are compared to matched groups of White test takers, they tend to perform less well than White test takers on the SPR items. Although the level of African American/White DIF on SPR items is elevated, relative to the multiple choice items, none of the SPR items in any of the final forms were flagged for exhibiting extreme DIF. The relationship between DIF and discrimination is discussed as a possible explanation for the elevated level of DIF on the SPR items. (56pp.)

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