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Time Requirements for the Different Item Types Proposed for Use in the Revised SAT SAT CAT

Bridgeman, Brent; Laitusis, Cara Cahalan; Cline, Frederick
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT), Time Limits, Assessing People with Disabilities


The current study used three data sources to estimate time requirements for different item types on the now current SAT Reasoning Test. First, we estimated times from a computer-adaptive version of the SAT (SAT CAT) that automatically recorded item times. Second, we observed students as they answered SAT questions under strict time limits and recorded the amount of time taken for each question. Finally, we asked high school students to record the amount of time taken for test subsections that were composed of items of a single type. The rules of thumb used by test developers were quite accurate in rank ordering the item types from least to most time-consuming, but the time actually spent was generally higher than assumed in the rules of thumb.

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