Using Distractors in Correcting for Guessing in Multiple-Choice Tests

Hamzeh M. Dodeen

Abstract


This study proposes a new formula for correcting for guessing in multiple-choice items, the Distraction-Scoring Formula (DSF). DSF takes into account the option distracting level in calculating an examinee’s final test score. It assumes that guessing is not always random and that the most distracting option for examinees in multiple-choice tests is the most nearly correct one. The effectiveness of DSF was compared with the common correcting for guessing formula, Scoring Formula (SF) using data from two standardized tests that were used at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). Results supported the use of DSF to award students for their selection of options based on the level of correctness when not sure about the correct answer. Also, the use of DSF increased test reliability for subsamples drawn from the total test sample.

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