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Optimizing the Angoff standard-setting process using automated test assembly-generated minitests.

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Hess BJ, Guille RA, Lipner RS, Sares TA. — American Board of Internal Medicine

Presented: American Educational Research Association Conference, April 2008

Abstract: The Angoff method is frequently used to set minimum passing scores on high-stakes exams. This method requires judges to estimate the possibility that a minimally competent candidate will correctly answer each item on the exam. This procedure can be time-consuming and fatiguing for the judges, especially for longer exams. Consequently, few studies have been conducted to determine if streamlining the Angoff procedure is viable. However, prior studies have not utilized sophisticated item-selection strategies, such as automated test assembly (ATA), to develop shorter, equivalent exam forms for the purpose of reducing the number of items to be rated in an Angoff study. Using three medical certification exams comprised of approximately 200 multiple-choice items, results of this study suggest that it may be feasible to set minimum passing scores with the Angoff method using an ATA-generated subset of items selected from the full-length exam.

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