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An investigation of response time differences on a certification examination with multiple item formats.

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Hess BJ, Johnston M, Lipner RS. — American Board of Internal Medicine

Presented: American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, May 2012

Abstract: Current research on examination response time has focused on tests comprised of traditional multiple-choice items. Consequently, the impact of other innovative or complex item formats on response time is not understood. The present study used multilevel growth modeling to investigate examinee characteristics associated with response time differences (pacing) on a medical certification examination with multiple item formats. A linear growth model described examinee pacing on the traditional multiple-choice section, while a growth curve model described pacing on a diagnostic study section comprised of complex, graphic-intensive multiple-response items. Examinees’ gender, ability and age explained variability in response times for each examination section. These findings have implications for test developers who intend to incorporate complex item formats into their high-stakes examinations.

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