MICROCAT: What was assessment like in the 1980s?

old computer

ASC has been empowering organizations to develop better assessments since 1979.  Curious as to how things were back then?  Below is a copy of our newsletter from 1988, long before the days of sharing news via email and social media!  Our platform at the time was named MICROCAT.  This later became modernized to FastTest PC (Windows), then FastTest Web, and is now being reincarnated yet again as Assess.ai.

Special thanks to Cliff Donath for finding and sharing!



Some other references to MICROCAT


Conducting Self-Adapted Testing Using Microcat

Linda L. Roos, Steven L. Wise, Michael E. Yoes, Thomas R. Rocklin

October 1996, Educational and Psychological Measurement 56(5):821-827)



Adapting Adaptive Testing: Using the MicroCAT Testing System in a Local School District

G Gage Kingsbury

Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice Volume 9, Number 2, 1990



User’s Manual for the MicroCAT (Trademark) Testing System.

Technical rept. 1 Sep 83-30 Jun 85.



MicroCAT Testing System Version 3.0 by Assessment Systems Corporation

Review by: Wayne Patience

Journal of Educational Measurement, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Spring, 1990), pp. 82-88 (7 pages)


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Nathan Thompson, PhD

Nathan Thompson earned his PhD in Psychometrics from the University of Minnesota, with a focus on computerized adaptive testing. His undergraduate degree was from Luther College with a triple major of Mathematics, Psychology, and Latin. He is primarily interested in the use of AI and software automation to augment and replace the work done by psychometricians, which has provided extensive experience in software design and programming. Dr. Thompson has published over 100 journal articles and conference presentations, but his favorite remains https://scholarworks.umass.edu/pare/vol16/iss1/1/ .
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