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Item banking with a test construction interface: An evaluation of a prototype

By Claire Whitehouse, Qingping He, Christopher Wheadon


A prototype item bank/test construction interface was developed and evaluated within the Research and Policy Analysis department to assess how alterations to the current question paper setting process brought about by item banking may impact on the quality of tests. The use of a prototype avoided the costs and downtime usually associated with a staged implementation of major changes to operational processes.

The evaluation of the prototype, particularly its capability for the semi-automated construction of tests from a calibrated item bank, took place in two stages. In Stage 1 three Principal Examiners used the prototype to construct tests for their components: unit 1 of GCE Economics (ECN1/1), module 3 Foundation tier of GCSE Mathematics (43003F) and Entry Level Certificate (ELC) Adult Numeracy Entry Level 3 (EL3).

The newly constructed tests were later part of a blind comparison with past question papers in Stage 2. The pairs of tests were evaluated and rated by subject administrators and senior examiners from cognate subjects.

How to cite

Whitehouse, C., Qingping, H., & Wheadon, C. (2008). Item banking with a test construction interface: An evaluation of a prototype, Manchester: AQA Centre for Education Research ad Policy.


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