Entries by Nathan Thompson, PhD


Validity Threats and Psychometric Forensics

Validity threats are issues with a test or assessment that hinder the interpretations and use of scores, such as cheating, inappropriate use of scores, unfair preparation, or non-standardized delivery.  It is important to establish a test security plan to define the threats relevant for you and address them. Validity, in its modern conceptualization, refers to […]

Item Review Workflow for Exam Development

Item review is the process of ensuring that newly-written test questions go through a rigorous peer review, to ensure that they are high quality and meet industry standards. What is an item review workflow? Developing a high-quality item bank is an extremely involved process, and authoring of the items is just the first step.  Items […]

How to Pass My Online Proctored Exam

Online proctored exams are assessments that you can take at your home or office, with a video stream of you taking the exam being used to ensure its integrity.  The primary purpose is to increase convenience and flexibility, by letting people take their exams at any quiet place they like instead of having to commute […]

Likert Scale Items

Likert scales (items) are a type of item used in human psychoeducational assessment, primarily to assess noncognitive constructs.  That is, while item types like multiple choice or short answer are used to measure knowledge or ability, Likert scales are better suited to measuring things like anxiety, conscientiousness, or motivation. In the realm of psychology, surveys, […]

Test Blueprints & Specifications

Test blueprints, aka test specifications (shortened to “test specs”), are the formalized design of an assessment, test, or exam.  This can be in the context of educational assessment, pre-employment, certification, licensure, or any other type.  Generally, the amount of effort and detail is commensurate with the stakes of the assessment; a 10 item quiz for […]

What is a testlet?

Testlet is a term in educational assessment that refers to a set of test items or questions grouped together on a test, often with a common theme or scenario. This approach aims to provide a more comprehensive and nuanced assessment of an individual’s abilities compared to traditional testing methods. What is a testlet? As mentioned […]


E-Assessment Software: Best Practices to Improve Exams

e-Assessment software is a critical component in education and workforce assessment, managing and delivering exams via the internet.  It requires a cloud-based platform that is designed specifically to build, deliver, manage, and validate exams that are either large-scale or high-stakes.  It is a critical core-business tool for high-stakes professional and educational assessment programs, such as […]


What is Job Task Analysis?

Job Task Analysis (JTA) is an essential step in designing a test to be used in the workforce, such as pre-employment or certification/licensure, by analyzing data on what is actually being done in the job.  Also known as Job Analysis or Role Delineation, job task analysis is important to design a test that is legally […]

Question and Test Interoperability (QTI)

Question and Test Interoperability® (QTI®) is a set of standards around the format of import/export files for test questions in educational assessment and HR/credentialing exams.  This facilitates the movement of questions from one software platform to another, including item banking, test assembly, e-Learning, training, and exam delivery.  This serves two main purposes: Allows you to […]