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Producing equivalent examination forms : an assessment of the British Columbia Ministry of Education examination construction procedure MacMillan, Peter D.

Abstract

Questions have been raised concerning the equivalency of the January, June, and August forms of the British Columbia provincial Grade 12 examinations for a given subject. The procedure for constructing these examinations has been changed as of the 1990/91 school year. The purpose of this study was to duplicate this new procedure and assess the equivalency of the forms that resulted. An examination construction team, all of whom had previous experience with the British Columbia Ministry of Education's Student Assessment Branch, simultaneously constructed two forms of a Biology 12 examination from a common table of specifications using a pool of multiple choice items from previous examinations. A sample of students was obtained in the Okanagan, Thompson, and North Thompson areas of British Columbia. Both forms were administered to each student, as required by the test equating design (Design II (Angoff, 1971)) chosen. The data sample consisted of responses from 286 students. The data were analyzed using a classical item analysis (LERTAP, Nelson, 1974) followed by a 2x2 order-by-form fixed effects ANOVA with repeated measures on the second factor. Item analysis revealed all items on both forms performed satisfactorily, ruling out an alternate hypothesis of flawed items being the cause of the lack of equivalence found. Results showed a significant (p.25) order effect, and a significant (p

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