Utilizing Response Time Distributions for Item Selection in CAT

Zhewen Fan, Chun Wang, Hua Hua Chang, Jeffrey Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditional methods for item selection in computerized adaptive testing only focus on item information without taking into consideration the time required to answer an item. As a result, some examinees may receive a set of items that take a very long time to finish, and information is not accrued as efficiently as possible. The authors propose two item-selection criteria that utilize information from a lognormal model for response times. The first modifies the maximum information criterion to maximize information per time unit. The second is an inverse time-weighted version of a-stratification that takes advantage of the response time model, but achieves more balanced item exposure than the information-based techniques. Simulations are conducted to compare these procedures against their counterparts that ignore response times, and efficiency of estimation, time-required, and item exposure rates are assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-670
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • computerized adaptive testing
  • item exposure control
  • lognormal model
  • maximum item selection per time unit
  • response times

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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