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Effectiveness of Item Response Theory (IRT) Proficiency Estimation Methods Under Adaptive Multistage Testing IRT MST

Kim, Sooyeon; Moses, Tim P.; Yoo, Hanwook
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Report Number:
ETS Research Report
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Subject/Key Words:
Item Response Theory (IRT), Multistage Testing (MST), Proficiency, Routing Accuracy, Computerized Adaptive Tests


We found that the choice of Bayesian (prior) and non-Bayesian (no prior) estimators was of more practical significance than the choice of number-correct versus item-pattern scoring. For the extreme proficiency levels, the decrease in standard error compensated for the increase in bias in the Bayesian estimates, resulting in smaller total error. Possible score changes caused by the use of different proficiency estimators would be nonnegligible, particularly for the extreme proficiency level examinees. The impact of misrouting at Stage 1 was minimal under the MST design used in this study.

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