A statistical test for detecting answer copying on multiple-choice tests

Willem J. van der Linden, Leonardo Sotaridona

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A statistical test for the detection of answer copying on multiple-choice tests is presented. The test is based on the idea that answers of examinees to test items may be the results of three possible processes:(1)knowing;(2) guessing; and (3) copying. Examinees who do not have access to the answers of other examinees can arrive at their answers only through the first two processes. This assumption leads toa distribution for the number of matched incorrect alternatives between the examinee suspected of copying and the examinee believed to be the source that belongs to a family of "shifted binomials." Power functions for the tests for several sets of parameter values are analyzed. It is shown that an extension of the test to include matched numbers of correct alternatives would lead to improper statistical hypotheses.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Publication series

NameOMD research report
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Faculty of Educational Science and Technology


  • Shifted Binomial
  • IR-103563
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • METIS-209502
  • Cheating
  • Answer Copying
  • Multiple-ChoiceTesting


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