Modeling Not-Reached Items in Timed Tests: A Response Time Censoring Approach

Jinxin Guo, Xin Xu, Zhiliang Ying, Susu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Time limits are imposed on many computer-based assessments, and it is common to observe examinees who run out of time, resulting in missingness due to not-reached items. The present study proposes an approach to account for the missing mechanisms of not-reached items via response time censoring. The censoring mechanism is directly incorporated into the observed likelihood of item responses and response times. A marginal maximum likelihood estimator is proposed, and its asymptotic properties are established. The proposed method was evaluated and compared to several alternative approaches that ignore the censoring through simulation studies. An empirical study based on the PISA 2018 Science Test was further conducted.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-867
Number of pages33
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • not-reached items
  • timed test
  • censoring
  • response time
  • missing data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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