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Historically, test construction in education and psychology has shown a development from: (1) the construction of standardized tests to the practice of assembling tests from item banks tailored to the test assembler's specifications; (2) the use of intuitive rules of test construction to the application of model-based algorithms; and (3) manual sorting of items on index cards to selection by a computerized system.

Test assembly can be characterized as the task of finding a combination of items from an item pool that satisfies a list of content specifications and is optimal in a statistical sense. Formally, the problem has the structure of a constrained combinatorial optimization problem in which an objective function is maximized subject to a set of constraints, both typically modelled using 0-1 decision ...

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