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Practice tests: do they work? Can they work better?

Karakolidis, Anastasios orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-7460-7759, O'Leary, Michael orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-6771-904X and Scully, Darina orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-6076-717X (2017) Practice tests: do they work? Can they work better? CLEAR Exam Review, 25 (1). pp. 12-16. ISSN 1076-8025

Within the diverse field of certification and licensure, millions of tests are administered each year by non-governmental bodies and state agencies. A perusal of relevant websites suggests that most of the major certification and licensure tests have associated sample items, practice tests and/or preparatory tests (prep tests) either in hard copy or online available to potential candidates. All three are described in the standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA, 2016). Sample items are offered simply to give potential test candidates an idea of what items on the test may look like. Practice tests are made up of numerous sample items and may, in some instances, be constructed to match a test plan. Prep tests can be distinguished from practices tests on the basis that they are always constructed to match test specifications closely, and are used to provide candidates with a predicted score for the real test. While sample items are usually provided at no cost and prep tests have to be purchased, practice tests can either be offered for free (often by the organisation responsible for setting or administering the test1 ) or charged for by the entities that developed them (the certification/licencing authority2 or other organisations3). These distinctions are worth noting; however, for simplicity, the general term ‘practice tests’ is used in this paper to refer to various types of practice and preparation materials.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Subjects:Social Sciences > Education
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Institute of Education > School of Policy & Practice
Research Institutes and Centres > Centre for Assessment Research, Policy and Practice in Education (CARPE)
Publisher:Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation
Official URL:https://www.clearhq.org/page-1721345#spring15
Copyright Information:© 2017 CLEAR
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:24448
Deposited On:12 May 2020 13:27 by Thomas Murtagh . Last Modified 23 Sep 2022 10:13

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