For example, let the two following questions form possible test questions:1)
|1.||Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a component of all of the following except:|
|a) seltzer||b) ammonia||c) “dry ice”||d) photosynthesis|
|2.||The symbol for carbon dioxide is:|
|a) CO2||b) H2O||c) NH4||d) π|
If the test creating algorithm would be able chose between one, none or both of the questions, students who would get to solve both questions would have less trouble solving question 2 than students who would get to solve question 2 but not question 1. This issue can be dealt with using testlets.
Tests should be designed to start with the easier questions and progress to the more difficult ones (power tests). If so, examinees with lower knowledge levels will be encouraged by initial success and try harder to solve more difficult tasks later.There is some empirical evidence for this phenomena.2)
Content balancing refers to equal or desired shares of questions covering each topic in the test.
Informal content specifications refer to, for example, question context.