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Detecting Construct-Irrelevant Variance in an Open-Ended, Computerized Mathematics Task GREB CBT GRE

Gallagher, Ann M.; Bennett, Randy Elliot; Laitusis, Cara Cahalan
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RR-00-18, GREB-95-13P
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Graduate Record Examinations Board, Computer-Based Testing (CBT), Item Sets, Mathematics, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)


The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether variance due to computer-based presentation was associated with performance on a new constructed-response type--Mathematical Expression--that requires examinees to build mathematical expressions using a mouse and an on- screen tool palette. Participants took parallel computer-based and paper-based tests consisting of Mathematical Expression items, plus a test of their skill in entering and editing data using the computer interface. Comparisons of mean performance, reliability, speededness, and relations with external indicators were conducted across the paper-based and computer-based tests; also, computer-based math score was regressed on edit/entry score after controlling for paper-and- pencil math score and background information. Although no statistical evidence of construct-irrelevant variance was detected, some examinees reported mechanical difficulties in responding and indicated a preference for the paper-and-pencil test.

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