Polychotomous Responses and the Test Score.Report as inadecuate

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Traditionally, the test score represented by the number of items answered correctly was taken as an indicator of the examinee's ability level. Researchers still tend to think that the number-correct score is a way of ordering individuals with respect to the latent trait. The objective of this study is to depict the benefits of using ability estimates obtained directly from individuals' response patterns instead of their test scores, especially when responses are graded polychotomously. The importance of substantive model validation is also discussed. Mathematical models are presented to show that the use of the test score instead of the response pattern itself in ability or attitude estimation will, in general, reduce the accuracy of estimation. The loss of accuracy can be especially important when items are scored polychotomously. It is suggested that ability or attitude estimation be made from the response pattern using basic functions developed by F. Samejima in conjunction with the graded response model. In doing so, substantive model validation is essential. (Contains 2 figures, 1 table, and 13 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Ability, Attitude Measures, Estimation (Mathematics), Models, Responses, Scores, Scoring, Test Interpretation, Test Items

Author: Samejima, Fumiko

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=12491&id=ED397105

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