Item Format Influence on the Results of the Item

Jolita Dudaitė


This article examines the influence of the item format on the responses (results) to the item. The effect of the item-stem format and the item-answer format on the p-value and omitting the item without solving it is under consideration. Previous research on the constructs of the item-stem format and the item-answer format indicates that more research appears to be necessary. The article focuses on the answers of mathematic tests completed by 806 grade 8 students (from 143 schools) in Lithuania. The analysis showed that Lithuanian grade 8 students were significantly better at solving multiple-choice answer format items than open-ended answer format items. They also were less likely to omit multiple-choice than openended items. No difference was found in these regards between genders. The analysis also showed that the distractors given in multiple-choice answer format items influenced students’ choice of answer. Presented with exactly the same items, but without answers much fewer students give the answers provided in the distractors. In general, the wording of the item-stem did affect the answers to (results of) the item. The hypothesis that formulating the item-stems in a more common style (the style more often met in textbooks) would help students solving the items better was discounted.


multiple-choice; open-ended item; item format

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236