Introductory Psychology students in large lecture classes are likely to be evaluated based on performance on multiple-choice tests. The multiplechoice test format is favored for its efficiency, ease of administration and scoring and psychometric strength. We found a significant performance consistency across four successive multiple-choice tests in a university Introductory Psychology course. Participants (n = 458 in three classes) took four 75-item multiple-choice tests in the course, each test covering different course content. Student performance on Test 1 in Introductory Psychology was a surprisingly powerful early predictor of overall performance on the remaining three tests in the course. Furthermore, scores on all four tests were significantly inter-correlated, indicating high performance consistency throughout the course. Hierarchical linear modeling also revealed that this performance consistency was accompanied by a small positive performance trajectory (3.6%) over the four tests. We also found that even performance on an unannounced 10- item quiz prior to the first test was a significant predictor of final overall performance on all four tests. The high consistency and low trajectory of performance on multiple-choice tests have implications both for strategic planning of multiple-choice testing in large introductory survey courses and for managing students' expectations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||North American Journal of Psychology|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science