Comparison of ability estimates under computerized adaptive testing and linear computer-based test: Implications for assessment use in Africa


Adeola Ayodeji Famoroti


Introduction: Computer Based-Test (CBT) is seemed more preferred in ability estimation in this 21st century to traditional method called Paper and Pencil Test (PPT). The CBT consisted of two major types namely Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) and Linear Computer Based test (LCBT). The wider acceptability that CAT is receiving in the recent time calls for more empirical research in the area.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to establish whether there is a significant difference between the mean of the ability estimates under LCBT and ability estimates under CAT and also to establish whether there is any significant agreement between the ability estimates under the two testing (LCBT and CAT) modes that could suggest that CAT can replace LCBT.

Methodology: Causal comparative type of non-experimental design was used. The study was carried out in private secondary schools in Ife East Local Government in Osun state, Nigeria. The study population consisted of 442 Junior Secondary School 3 students who have completed the Junior Secondary School Social Studies syllabus and also completed two stages of the study. The items used were standardized using 3PL model of Item Response Theory to establish all the necessary psychometric properties.

Results: The results showed that CAT has a mean value of (M = 0.646, STD = 0.8799) and LCBT has mean value of (M = 0.148, STD = 0.8538). The observed mean difference (M = 0.479, STD = 0.862) in examinees’ ability estimates under CAT and LCBT was statistically significant, t(441) = 12.129, p = .000. Also, there is significant agreement between the two ability estimates under LCBT and CAT (upper limit value = 2.248, lower limit value = -1.232, bias value = 0.5). The study concluded that ability estimate under CAT was better than that of LCBT; and also, that CAT testing mode can replace LCBT.

Recommendations: The study recommended that CAT should be adopted for use by the examining bodies and higher institutions of learning. Also, that seminar, workshop, and capacity building programs be organized for the concerned educational stakeholders with a view to widening their knowledge in the new area.


How to Cite
Famoroti, A. A. (2023). Comparison of ability estimates under computerized adaptive testing and linear computer-based test: Implications for assessment use in Africa. Journal of Educational Research in Developing Areas, 4(1), 1-11.


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