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Investigating the Value of TOEFL iBT Section Scores TOEFL TOEFL iBT

Sawaki, Yasuyo; Sinharay, Sandip
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Score Dependability, Dimensionality, Factor Analysis, Generalizability Theory, Reliability, Subscore Analysis, Score Profile, TOEFL iBT, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)


In contrast, the CFAs conducted separately for the 3 L1 groups as well as a multiple-group confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) identified a correlated 4-factor model with reading, listening, speaking, and writing factors as the best representation of the structure of the entire test for all examinees as well as for the 3 L1 groups. Reliability of the observed section scores for norm-referenced score interpretations and the dependability of classification decisions made based on different cut scores were generally satisfactory while they were also found to be relatively low in some circumstances. Based on the mixed results concerning the value-added information the TOEFL iBT section scores provide, recommendations for future research directions and some key issues of consideration for high-stakes decision making based on the section scores were summarized.

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