Session S25f (Wednesday, 2pm, Thomas 104)

P824: Influence of the grade level readability of ACS examinations on student performance and item complexity

Kim Linenberger (Iowa State University, USA), Thomas Holme (ACS Examinations Institute, USA)

When determining the validity of an assessment it is necessary to ensure the assessment is measuring only the construct(s) of interest (e.g. knowledge of chemistry). As such, it is important to ensure that the linguistic or reading demands of the items do not get in the way of measuring students’ knowledge of chemistry. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the grade level readability of ACS Examination items to determine if language is an additional factor that needs to be taken into account when determining item complexity. Findings from a comparison of item readability versus other cognitive complexity measures will be discussed in order to determine the role of reading, and reading errors, in the measurement of student learning with multiple-choice exams.

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