Published Online: August 19, 2005

Report Roundup

Federal Study Examines Computer-Based Testing

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Computerized mathematics tests appear to be more difficult for students to take than tests given on paper, according to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The report—which collected data in 2001 on nearly 1,000 8th grade students who took a computerized mathematics exam—found that while a majority of those students reported using a computer at home and school, their mean scale scores on the test were 4 points lower than the more than 2,700 8th grade students who took a similar test on paper. Researchers considered that difference statistically significant.

The August 2005 report also examined data collected in 2002 on more than 1,300 8th grade students who took a computerized writing test. But researchers found no significant differences between students who took the writing test online and a nationally representative sample of students who took a similar test on paper.

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