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Does Linking Mixed-Format Tests Using a Multiple-Choice Anchor Produce Comparable Results for Male and Female Subgroups?

Kim, Sooyeon; Walker, Michael E.
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Report Number:
ETS Research Report
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Subject/Key Words:
Population Invariance, Mixed-Format Test, Multiple-Choice Anchor, Linking


This study examines the use of subpopulation invariance indices to evaluate the appropriateness of using a multiple-choice (MC) item anchor in mixed-format tests, which include both MC and constructed-response (CR) items. Linking functions were derived in the nonequivalent groups with anchor test (NEAT) design using an MC-only anchor set for 4 mixed-format licensure tests. For each of those licensure tests, the linking functions were also derived separately for males and females, and those subpopulation functions were compared to the total group function. The mathematics, social studies, and science tests each produced acceptable differences between each of the subpopulation functions and the total group function within the cut-score region, leading to consistent pass/fail designations for the examinees. The English test, which had a low correlation between MC and CR components (indicative of multidimensionality), produced the largest differences, casting doubt on the effectiveness of the MC-only anchor.

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