Item Analysis: Everything You Need to Know
Exams are dreaded by students; however, they can play a vital role in a child’s education. Exams are used to assess skills, knowledge, and more besides. Schools often use examinations to assess the advancement of a student. Teachers can understand how far a student has progressed and what they have learned in the school year. It can be a useful way to determine how the class needs to progress, whether to move to a new subject or remain with the current one.
So, what do you need to know about item analysis?
Understanding Item Analysis
Every exam is created with a purpose; mainly, to assess the student’s skills and find gaps in their knowledge. Often, item analysis is used to assess students. Teachers will use this system to identify error patterns and such things. It is, however, a crucial tool and can create an in-depth insight into item discrimination, difficulty, and distractors.
- Item Discrimination
The number of correct answers is compared to the total test score numbers. Discrimination looks at one question at a time and compares low-scoring students’ answers to high-scoring students.
- Item Difficulty
In simple terms, item difficulty focuses on how tough the questions were. For instance, the questions were far too easy for the students. Or they were too difficult for the level the students are at. If zero students answered the question right, then the reliability factor decreases. When students answer correctly, it helps to identify how knowledgeable the students are in that subject.
- Item Distractors
Item distractors often are used when there have been questions of multiple choice. These are used to test the student and their knowledge. Students must focus on critical thinking to help them overcome good distractors and solve the question. Basic distractors can be obviously wrong and may impact the reliability of the exams.
Why Is Item Analysis Used?
Quite simply, item analysis is used to assess the exams and whether they’re good enough to test the students. If there are exams that are too advanced for an age group, they are wasteful. It’s the same if the exams are too simple for the students. That is why item analysis is frequently used. It’s there to measure the exams and find out where the learning gaps are. Teachers can bridge gaps through item analysis, and it’s a useful tool, to say the least.
Exams are there to determine which students have failed or passed a test. They are, however, also used to determine the learning gaps. Item analysis can be used to review exams and improve student learning. While few outside the education sector understand item analysis, it can’t be dismissed. Item analysis helps teachers understand the education level of their students and must be used.