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A New Method of Controlling Item Exposure in Computerized Adaptive Testing

Stocking, Martha L.; Lewis, Charles
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Adaptive Testing, Computer Assisted Testing, Item Pools, Test Items, Test Security


In the periodic testing environment associated with conventional paper-and-pencil tests, the frequency with which items are seen by test takers is tightly controlled in advance of testing by policies that regulate both the reuse of test forms and the frequency with which candidates may retake the test. In the continuous testing environment associated with more novel testing paradigms such as computerized adaptive testing (CAT), the computer itself can be used to control the frequency with which items are administered. This paper discusses previous methods of controlling item security in the continuous adaptive testing environment and presents a new method that overcomes some (but not all) of the disadvantages of previous attempts. An extensive example with this new method and a particular adaptive testing algorithm illustrates how concerns about test efficiency, parallelism, and security can be balanced. (32pp.)

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