Computerized Adaptive Testing

3 minute read
Computerized Adaptive Testing

Initially developed as a psychometric tool, the Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) is an efficient way to estimate a particular set of skills. Students from varied educational backgrounds appear for common scholastic or competitive exams and this often leads to the question paper being either too simple for some or too difficult for others. In order to balance out any sort of variation in question sets, a majority of conducting bodies are now choosing computer adaptive testing. Computerized Adaptive Testing understands the capabilities of the test taker and thus, moulds questions according to it. Read this blog to know all about how Computerized Adaptive Testing works, some popular examples and its advantages.

What is Computerized Adaptive Testing? 

Essentially designed by content specialists, psychometricians and programmers, Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) is a technology-based or online testing system. CAT got prevalent by its ability to adjust the level of difficulty of the test depending upon the response is provided by the test taker. Computerized Adaptive Testing is capable of matching the knowledge of the test taker to that of questions that are to be mentioned in the test. 

Let us understand how Computerized Adaptive Testing works through a simple example. During a test, if a student enters a wrong answer the computer will now present an easier question according to the last one. But if the student would have answered it correctly, the next question would have been more difficult than the previous one. CAT is expected to represent the measure of abilities of the test taker in a more detailed manner by eliminating all the common issues that were prevalent to ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of standard tests. 

How Does Computerized Adaptive Testing Work? 

As we are clear with the basic definition of Computer Adaptive Testing, let’s further understand how it works.

  • The system begins by setting an ability estimate to grasp the basic understanding of your level. A threshold value is set and all the candidates are expected to have that particular level of content knowledge. 
  • As soon as the computer receives the test takers answer, questions from the item bank that are neither too difficult nor too easy for that level are put forward to that candidate.
  • Continuous re-examination of candidates’ ability through multiple questions goes on until the test is over. Through this continuous approach, it is believed that greater precision is reached in estimating the ability of the candidate. 

Here is a step-by-step process followed by Computer Adaptive Testing:

Step 1: An average-level question will be presented to the candidate.  

Step 2: Analysing their response, the computer will then select a question from the bank that is neither too easy nor too difficult. 

Step 3: With every question answered, the computer gauges the candidate’s skills in a precise manner. 

Why Choose CAT? 

Computerized Adaptive Testing has turned out to be more advantageous than expected! They not only help us have an idea about the knowledge and abilities of the candidates but also provide a reliable database in a relatively shorter time period. Using technologies, deeper research through the collected data can be carried out. Another prominent advantage of CAT is the clear distinction it provides. Amongst a selected set of examinees, through CAT, you will be able to create categories like high performing and low performing candidates. As the test analyses previous responses as well, it can also help you determine whether the answer is based on expertise or it is a random guess. 

Advantages of Computerized Adaptive Testing 

The advantageous nature of Computerized Adaptive Testing system has helped in the propagation and acceptance of this mode all across the globe. Here are some of the main advantages of Computerized Adaptive Testing:

  • Detailed information about candidates of variable abilities 
  • Reduces the workload of teachers 
  • More accurate feedback than manual assessment 
  • Enhances learner engagement 

We hope that you found this blog on Computerized Adaptive Testing informative and insightful. Struggling with your career choices? Reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and we will help you make an informed decision towards a rewarding career! Sign up for a free session with us now!

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