Computerized Adaptive Testing or CAT, as it is more popularly known, is a method for administering modern-day exams that works by merging cutting edge computer technology with state-of-the-art measurement theory to increase the efficiency of the examination process. With Computer Adaptive Testing, students sit before computers and take tests that are customized to their ability levels. A specially made computer program adjusts the difficulty level of the questions based on student responses throughout the assessment. For example, a student responding to a question with a correct answer will be served with a more challenging next item, whereas an incorrect answer generates an easier next question. Such individually tailored set of questions to each student during an assessment leads to prompt identification of the skills the student has mastered or otherwise.
Customisation of a test to each student's skill level calls for a large bank of high quality questions from which to choose. IRT or Item Response Theory, a mathematical procedure, is used to create these question banks. IRT determines for each item the probability that a student with a given ability level will be able to answer it correctly. Thus it becomes possible to customize a test to the ability level of each test taker. Calculating the characteristics of each item in the collection is both an expensive and time consuming task.
Eduwizards, the pioneers in Online Tutoring and Testing have carved a niche for themselves in this space over the years. With a highly skilled and proficient team of technical experts dedicated to developing and delivering assessment systems of the highest quality and sophistication, Eduwizards have now forayed successfully into Computer Adaptive Testing too and have put in place assessment and practice tests using CAT for prestigious and important examinations like GMAT, CAT etc. This venture into Computerized Adaptive Testing rides on the back of its commendable successes in delivery of online and offline tests for various competitive and entrance examinations using the entire gamut of delivery vehicles including iOS and Android operating systems for mobiles and tablets, CD and SD card based tests etc.
Advantages of Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT)
- It reduces the number of 'easy' questions that high-ability candidates receive. Easy items will not truly reflect a high-performing candidate's ability.
- CAT can limit the number of 'difficult' items that low-ability candidates receive - candidates guessing on such difficult items can skew the results.
- Reduces item exposure and the security risks that go with it.
- Computer Adaptive assessments provide a more detailed picture of students' weak and strong areas, thus helping in differentiated instruction.
- In CAT, since fewer questions are needed to determine each student's academic level, Computer Adaptive assessments are shorter and more concise than pen-and-paper tests. The question bank base being large and the fact that each student receives differing sets of questions based on their responses, Computer Adaptive tests can be used for a longer period of time and are more secure.
- CAT offers teachers and institutions a more accurate method to evaluate student achievement.
Eduwizards have realized early that CAT is a boon to assessment and rating of student capability and achievement and like the rest of its education and testing products, are sure to make a hit of this high-tech product too.