Passing score and length of a mastery test

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A classical problem in mastery testing is the choice of passing score and test length so that the mastery decisions are optimal. Thsi problem has been addressed several times from a variety of view-points. In this paper the usual indifference zone approach is adopted with a new criterion for optimizing the passing score. It appears that, under the assumption of the binomial error model, this yields a linear relationship between optimal passing score and test length, which subsequently can be used in a simple procedure for optimizing the test length. It is indicated how different losses for both decision errors and a known base rate can be incorporated in the procedure, and how a correction for guessing can be applied. Finally, the results in this paper are related to results obtained in sequential testing and in the latent class approach to mastery testing.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)149-164
JournalEvaluation in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1982


  • IR-68993

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