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The Number of Alternatives for Optimum Test Reliability

J. Brown Grier
Journal of Educational Measurement
Vol. 12, No. 2 (Summer, 1975), pp. 109-113
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1434035
Page Count: 5
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The Number of Alternatives for Optimum Test Reliability
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Abstract

The expected reliability of a multiple-choice test is maximized by the use of three-alternative items. The proof uses a modified version of the Kuder-Richardson formula 21 and assumes that the total number of alternatives is held constant. This result agrees with an earlier one due to Tversky that shows three-alternative items optimize other test criteria. Some empirical results in the literature either tend to support or not contradict this theoretical result.

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