Module 25: Multistage Testing

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Multistage tests are those in which sets of items are administered adaptively and are scored as a unit. These tests have all of the advantages of adaptive testing, with more efficient and precise measurement across the proficiency scale as well as time savings, without many of the disadvantages of an item-level adaptive test. As a seemingly balanced compromise between linear paper-and-pencil and item-level adaptive tests, development and use of multistage tests is increasing. This module describes multistage tests, including two-stage and testlet-based tests, and discusses the relative advantages and disadvantages of multistage testing as well as considerations and steps in creating such tests.

Keywords: adaptive testing, multistage testing, principled assessment design, scoring, testlet, two-stage tests

Amy Hendrickson

Senior Director, Psychometrics at The College Board

Amy Hendrickson is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation at College Park, and currently works for the College Board. She received her M.S. in Educational Psychology from Iowa State University in 1997 and her Ph.D. in Educational Measurement and Statistics in 2002 from the University of Iowa. Her research interests include test equating and scaling, polytomous item response theory, and computerized adaptive testing.


Module 25: An NCME Instructional Module on Multistage Testing
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.