Sensitivity, also called true positive rate, measures a diagnostic test’s ability to detect the correct number of positive elements in a binary classification test or to diagnose the correct number of students who have a given condition. Imagine, for example, a preliminary diagnostic test that determines whether or not a student has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The sensitivity of the test would measure the number of students who are correctly diagnosed with the condition. This entry further defines sensitivity, discusses the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) and positive predictive value (PPV), and looks at the practical application of sensitivity in testing.

Sensitivity assists in avoiding false negatives or classifying something as negative when it is in fact positive (e.g., identifying students as typically functioning when they have a disability). ...

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