Computerised adaptive testing (CAT) is a form of computer-based test that adapts to the examinee's ability level.
CAT successively selects questions for the purpose of maximising the precision of the exam based on what is known about the candidate from previous questions. Generally, the adaptive tests start by selecting an item of medium, or medium-easy, difficulty as the first item. The difficulty level of the next question presented will be based on the candidate’s previous response.
From the candidate's perspective, the questions seem to tailor themselves to his or her level of ability, continually challenging them. For example, if a candidate performs well on an item of intermediate difficulty, he/her will then be presented with a more difficult question. Or, if one performed poorly, he/her would be presented with a simpler question.
Adaptive testing Vs. non adaptiveAdaptive testing is of course different to static multiple choice tests which presents the candidate with a fixed set of items in a variety of difficulty levels. Usually the adaptive tests require fewer test items to arrive at equally accurate scores. As a result of adaptive administration, different examinees receive quite different tests.
Which assessment companies use adaptive technology?Most assessment companies these days do not use adaptive testing yet. Adaptive tests are seen in the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) and are also offered by:
- Talent Q as part of their ability testing series, Elements and Aspects.
- SHL-style tests
- Kenexa tests
How should I prepare for adaptive tests?Many people wonder how should they prepare for Adaptive tests. The answer is that adaptive testing should not change candidates’ preparation methods, since it is merely a tool for the test publisher and employer.
When preparing for any test, we want to make sure that we know the basic concepts that lay the foundations for a certain topic. In addition, at some point of our study journey, we need to face more difficult challenges, to make sure we have also understood the non-trivial aspects of that topic. This preparation rational is also true for adaptive testing. One should always prepare himself for a multitude of difficulty levels, allowing him to tackle easy and advanced level questions at the same time.
How can Jobtestprep help you prepare for adaptive testing?We currently offer tailored practice packs for GMAT and are the only preparation institute that offers tailored Talent Q-style tests. We made it our goal to expose each candidate to the full range of difficulty levels the candidate may encounter. Thus, each test session includes a range of difficulty levels (basic to advanced), that follow closely the characteristics of adaptive testing.
This way even weaker candidates can practice solving medium and hard difficulty level questions and stronger candidates can familiarise themselves with a variety of questions helping each candidate reach their full potential.