The Three‐Option Format for Knowledge and Ability Multiple‐Choice Tests: A Case for Why it Should Be More Commonly Used in Personnel Testing

17 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2012

See all articles by Bryan D. Edwards

Bryan D. Edwards

Oklahoma State University

Winfred Arthur Jr

Texas A&M University

Leonardis L. Bruce

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 2012

Abstract

Multiple‐choice (MC) tests are arguably the most widely used testing format in applied settings. In the psychometric and education literatures, research on the optimal number of options for knowledge and ability MC tests has revealed that three‐option tests are psychometrically equivalent and, in some cases, superior to five‐option tests. In addition, there are a number of practical, economic, and administrative advantages associated with the use of three‐option MC tests. Yet, despite its advantages, the three‐option format is underutilized in personnel selection. Across two studies, we compared test‐taker perceptions, criterion‐related validity, and sex‐based subgroup differences, and in Study 1, we compared race‐based subgroup differences on three‐ and five‐option tests. Participants in the two studies completed a three‐ or five‐option version of ACT. Test perceptions, criterion‐related validity, and race‐ and sex‐based subgroup differences were similar across test formats. The implications for the expanded use of three‐option tests in applied settings and future directions for research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Edwards, Bryan D. and Arthur Jr, Winfred and Bruce, Leonardis L., The Three‐Option Format for Knowledge and Ability Multiple‐Choice Tests: A Case for Why it Should Be More Commonly Used in Personnel Testing (March 2012). International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2009152 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2389.2012.00580.x

Bryan D. Edwards (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University ( email )

394 Business Building
Stillwater, OK
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://business.okstate.edu/directory/380831.html

Winfred Arthur Jr

Texas A&M University ( email )

College Station, TX 77843-4353
United States

Leonardis L. Bruce

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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