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Analyzing and Using Test Item Data

Purpose and Elements of item analysis


As pointed out by Payne (1992), item analysis is conducted for the following purposes.

 To select the best available items for the final form of the test;
 To identify structural or content defects in tdiffigitem
 To detect learning difficulties of the class as a whole; and
 To identify the areas of weaknesses of students in need of remedation.

Three main Elements

 Examination of the difficulty level of the items,

 Determination of the discriminating power of each item,
 Examination of the effectiveness of distractors in a multiple choice or matching items.

Preparing Data for Item Analyzing

 Arrange test scores from highest to lowest.

 Get one-third of the papers from the papers from the highest scores and the other third
from lowest scores.
 Record separately the number of times each alternative was chosen by the students in
the both groups.
 Add the number of correct answers to each item made by the combined upper and
lower groups.
 Compute tye index of difficulty for each item, following the formula:
Where: IDF= Index of difficulty
NRC= Number of students respoding correctly to an item
TS= Total number of students in the upper and lower group.
 Compute the index if discrimination, based on the formula:


Where: IDN= index of discrimination

CU= Number of correct responses of the upper group

CL= number of correct responses of the lower group

NSG= number of student per group

Difficulty index of a test item

Range Dificulty Level

20 & below. Very Difficult

21 - 40. Difficult

41 - 60. Average

61- 80. Easy

81 & Above. Very Easy

Using information About Index of Discrimination

The index of discrimination , as already poimted out, tells a teacher the degree to which a
test item differentiates the high achievers from the low achievers in his/her class.

An item has a positive discrimating power when more students from the upper group got the
right answer than those from the lower group.

Padua and santos (1998)

Range Verbal Description

40 & above. Very Good Item

30 - 39. Good Item

20 - 29. Fair Item

09 - 19. Poor Item

Examining Distractor Effectiveness

And ideal item is one that all students in the upper group answer correctly and all students
in the low group answer wrongly.

Two procedure in Examining the effectiveness of the distractors in a multiple-choice item.

 The first procedure requires that the answers to the different distractors be counted fo
the upper and lower groups
 Another method of analyzing the effectiveness of distractors is by determining the mean
score of the students who respond to each distractor, as well as that those who choose
the correct answer.

Developing an Item DataFile

 Encouraging teachers to undertake an item analyzing as often as partical

 Allowing for accumulated data to be used to make item analysis more reliable;
 Providing for a wider choice of item format anf objectives;
 Facilitating the revision of items;
 Facilitatinv the physical construction and reproduction of the test; and
 Accumulation a large pool of items as to allow for some items to be shared with the
students for study purposes.

Limitations of item Analysis

While item analysis is undertaken for the purpose of improving-test items, its techniques can
not be used with essay items. The scores obtained by the students from the upper group can be
compared with those of belonging to the lower group without using the index of discrimination
and difficulty.

The type of item, format, and reading level are among the many variables which can influence
test and item difficulty