Easy to Hard, Hard to Easy, Organized by Content: Does Item Order Matter on a Credentialing Exam?
Track: Test Development and Administration
What would happen to the pass rate of your certification exam if you ordered the items on the exam from easy to hard? Hard to easy? By objective? Would the exam still be fair if candidates received the items in different orders? There is a multitude of research suggesting that item order affects exam performance. However, little of this research focuses directly on credentialing exams. Using a live credentialing exam, the effects of item order were put to test. In this study, one certification program compares how ordering items by content (i.e., in the order of the test specifications) and difficulty affects the pass rate on the different forms in comparison to a randomized administration of the same items.