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Test Designs: Developments

Introduction

Test design refers to the process by which a test developer builds psychological tests – cognitive, affective, achievement, aptitude, certification, licensure, interest, motivation, personality, and others. The process addresses the issues of why a test is being used, what the test will cover, and how it will test for those. A well-designed test does not happen by accident, but results from a systematic and informed series of choices on a number of issues. This entry reviews those issues, and emphasizes advances in the test development process. There are several more lengthy treatments of the topic, variously emphasizing item writing (Haladyna, 1999; Osterlind, 1998), analysis of test scores (e.g. Embretson, 1985; McDonald, 1999), cognitive psychology (Frederiksen, Mislevy & Bejar, 1993), or new developments (Hakel, 1998).

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