Controlling item exposure and test overlap on the fly in computerized adaptive testing

Shu Ying Chen, Pui Wa Lei, Wen Han Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This paper proposes an on-line version of the Sympson and Hetter procedure with test overlap control (SHT) that can provide item exposure control at both the item and test levels on the fly without iterative simulations. The on-line procedure is similar to the SHT procedure in that exposure parameters are used for simultaneous control of item exposure rates and test overlap rate. The exposure parameters for the on-line procedure, however, are updated sequentially on the fly, rather than through iterative simulations conducted prior to operational computerized adaptive tests (CATs). Unlike the SHT procedure, the on-line version can control item exposure rate and test overlap rate without time-consuming iterative simulations even when item pools or examinee populations have been changed. Moreover, the on-line procedure was found to perform better than the SHT procedure in controlling item exposure and test overlap for examinees who take tests earlier. Compared with two other on-line alternatives, this proposed on-line method provided the best all-around test security control. Thus, it would be an efficient procedure for controlling item exposure and test overlap in CATs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-492
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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