Stratified and maximum information item selection procedures in computer adaptive testing

Hui Deng, Timothy Ansley, Hua-hua Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we evaluated and compared three item selection procedures: the maximum Fisher information procedure (F), the a-stratified multistage computer adaptive testing (CAT) (STR), and a refined stratification procedure that allows more items to be selected from the high a strata and fewer items from the low a strata (USTR), along with completely random item selection (RAN). The comparisons were with respect to error variances, reliability of ability estimates and item usage through CATs simulated under nine test conditions of various practical constraints and item selection space. The results showed that F had an apparent precision advantage over STR and USTR under unconstrained item selection, but with very poor item usage. USTR reduced error variances for STR under various conditions, with small compromises in item usage. Compared to F, USTR enhanced item usage while achieving comparable precision in ability estimates; it achieved a precision level similar to F with improved item usage when items were selected under exposure control and with limited item selection space. The results provide implications for choosing an appropriate item selection procedure in applied settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-226
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Educational Measurement
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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