What does that cut score mean? - Printable Version
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What does that cut score mean? - Dana - 05-02-2012 05:27 AM
Thank you Mike, for the info and Mary for the suggestion of making it a sticky:
Objective Assessments: Setting Cut Scores
What is the procedure for setting cut scores?
Have you ever suspected that having 70% equivalent to a C, 80% equivalent to a B, and 90% equivalent to an A is not fair? Some tests are harder than others. Therefore, setting a rigid standard of this sort is usually not fair.
Test questions (items) on a given topic can be written at many levels of difficulty. For example, a subject matter expert could write a question on the U.S. Constitution that is so easy anybody would get it right. Conversely, the subject matter expert can write another question on the same topic on a different assessment that even Supreme Court justices would have trouble answering correctly.
Setting the cut (passing) score for each assessment at 70% in both of these cases would be unfair because one assessment has harder questions. Therefore, WGU needs a way to determine how hard the test items really are and a process for computing the proper cut score from these test item difficulties. This is the purpose of the Angoff procedure.
What is the modified Angoff procedure?
WGU uses the Modified Angoff procedure for setting cut (passing) scores for objective assessments, which provides a fair and legally defensible approach to setting scores. The Angoff procedure is a method for determining the difficulty of test items followed by a process for computing the exact passing score that is fair for each assessment.
WGU gathers a group of subject matter experts who know both the content of the assessment and a little about our students. These experts judge the difficulty of the test items based on how a group of 100 candidates (students) might perform. WGU then computes the average difficulty rating from the group for each of the test items. Finally, those item difficulty values are used to compute a cut score for each assessment. For example, if an assessment contains several difficult questions, the cut score might be set around 50%–60%. Conversely, if an assessment contains easier items, the cut score might be set above 80%.
What does this mean?
The cut (passing) score for each assessment is fair. It takes into account the difficulty of the test items and only requires students to achieve competency
Each version of an assessment (called forms) will contain different test items. A cut score is computed each time a new form is created to ensure fairness across versions of the assessments. WGU tries to balance the difficulty of items on each assessment form.
An assessment with a cut score of 55% is not any easier or harder to pass than another exam with a cut score of 85%. Both exams require students to achieve a score considered by experts to be at the level of competence.
RE: What does that cut score mean? - XanderMom - 05-06-2012 04:50 AM
(05-02-2012 05:27 AM)Dana Wrote: Thank you Mike, for the info and Mary for the suggestion of making it a sticky:
Thank you, Dana. I was wondering why the cut scores are usually pretty low. Wondering, but didn't research. Now it makes sense. You are so helpful! lol
Thank you again