Standardization is key. Items in the item development set must follow a standardized format and follow a standardized testing format. For example, exam questions will use specific verb forms and percentages.
This type of standardized testing gives students an opportunity to practice their question writing skills. It also enables students to learn how to accurately organize their thoughts, creating logical connections and grouping thoughts into logical arguments. Research has shown that, when tested on their ability to organize thoughts into logically arranged arguments, test takers score higher on the NCLEX examination.
Another factor that a panel must consider when creating an item development set is how difficult the exam questions will be. Test question types vary from one type of testing panel to another. As the exam gets tougher, a test taker should prepare to increase his or her knowledge and understanding of the standards by reading up on them and practicing writing items that use the given standards.
The next factor to consider is what the items on the item development panel are going to be used for. The item development panel should be created based on the exam type, which can be one of the following. There are also four exam types, including the study type (standardized tests that are usually made up of multiple-choice items).
A test’s item development panel can also be based on the type of educational achievement goals. The teaching goal type is typically based on the standardized test type, as are the test item development panels for the two general knowledge areas of English language learners and non-native speakers. Each educational attainment goal typically features a large number of item sets and it can take a student months to prepare for the exam, especially if he or she wants to pass the NCLEX examination.
In order to properly assess test takers, the exam type should be easy to handle. It should not be too easy or too hard for test takers to complete. It should be neither too simple nor too complex for the test taker to complete. It is necessary to take a variety of test items, knowing that there is always a minimum of twenty percent chance that a test item will be correct, in order to make sure that the test is not too easy or too difficult for the test taker.
The amount of information provided in an item development panel is also important. Test takers should be able to identify any types of indicators, but it is important to be able to read the indicator symbols in order to ensure that the indicator is not too vague. Test indicators that contain either asterisks or questions with the same outline are places where students can find themselves confused.
The placement of items in an item development panel should also be considered. The placement of items should always follow the general consensus of the NCLEX panel. If the question has a high probability of being correct, it should be placed directly in the center of the item development panel.
An item development panel that includes multiple-choice items will usually contain mostly short items that must be memorized. The item itself is intended to be memorized. The item development panel will probably contain only one or two long items that must be carefully examined.
The longer items on an item development panel will typically consist of longer passages and descriptions of each passage, making the items extremely difficult to review. The items that have to be carefully reviewed will usually contain what is called “critical-reading passages,” which are passages that are specifically designed to help a test taker master the content of the NCLEX examination.