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Item banks are used in a variety of contexts ranging from individual classrooms, schools, districts, state or other governmental units, to large scale computer-based testing programs. Typically, the purpose of developing an item bank is to assist, improve, and automate the test assembly process. In developing an item bank, a number of decisions about two factors need to be considered. These factors are the design of the bank and the methods for maintaining and refreshing it once it has been created.

Designing an item bank is analogous to creating a database. At the simplest level, the designer must decide what data elements to store and then how to structure the data in order to facilitate data extraction and reporting, test assembly, and possibly even test administration ...

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