[IPAC-List] scoring multiple answer questions

Harry.Brull at pdininthhouse.com Harry.Brull at pdininthhouse.com
Mon Mar 21 15:43:27 EDT 2011

I'd suggest a rational scale, something on the order of:

+2 = essential to do
+1 = nice to do
0 = no harm/no benefit
-1 = bad to do
-2 = terrible to do

Get a bunch of SMEs together and come to consensus

Hope that works for you.

Harry Brull

Harry Brull | Senior Vice-President
PDI Ninth House
Global Leadership Solutions

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-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org
[mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Megan Paul
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 1:50 PM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: [IPAC-List] scoring multiple answer questions

I am reviewing an on-the-job knowledge test developed by a client for
in-house use (a pseudo certification test, I guess you could say). Many
of the items are multiple answer, with the number of right and wrong
answers varying across items. They want to give partial credit for
getting some of the right answers correct. To do that, they'll also need

to penalize for selecting wrong answers (otherwise a test taker need
only select all answers--right or wrong--to get full credit). So...I'm
trying to help them figure out a reasonable way to do this. If the wrong

answers are worth the same points as the right answers (albeit with a
negative value), there are cases where a test taker could lose more
points than they'd earn. The only practice I can think to apply is the
correction for guessing, but I've never used such formulas, and it seems

like it won't be so straightforward, given that a) we're talking about
the possibility of multiple wrong answers for each question and b) the
number of right and wrong answers varies across items (i.e., I can't
arrive at a single formula for the whole test; might have to be a
formula for each item? Is there such a thing?).

Any thoughts?

To be clear, I did not develop this test. I'm just being asked to weigh
in after the fact.

Thanks in advance,

Megan E. Paul, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Center on Children, Families, and the Law
206 S. 13th Street, Suite 1000
Lincoln, NE 68588-0227

(402) 472-9812 Office
(402) 472-8412 Fax

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