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Adaptive testing, in general terms, is an assessment process in which the test items administered to examinees differ based on the examinees’ responses to previous questions. Computerized adaptive testing uses computers to facilitate the “adaptive” aspects of the process and to automate scoring. This entry discusses historical perspectives, goals, psychometric and item selection approaches, and issues associated with adaptive testing in general and computerized adaptive testing in particular.

Historical Perspectives

Adaptive testing is not new. Through the ages examiners have asked questions and, depending on the response given, have chosen different directions for further questioning for different examinees. Clinicians have long taken adaptive approaches, and so since the advent of standardized intelligence testing, many such tests have used adaptive techniques. For both the 1916 edition of the ...

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