Cut Score? Passing Score?

Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by Acamp, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Acamp

    Acamp Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2019

    Good morning,
    If I am taking a Praxis that consists of 120 multiple choice questions and I need a score of 155, do you know how many of those questions I would need to get correct in order to score that 155 or higher?

    Thank you!
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 21, 2019

    If you're asking for the absolute minimum number of questions that a test taker can get right in order to score 155, there isn't a good answer, for a number of reasons including variable weighting of test questions and test versions, presence or absence of constructed response questions (which are generally weighted differently and are certainly scored differently), and presence or absence of "non-scoring" questions, or questions that are being field-tested and so don't count either for or against one's score. I'm happy to explain more about this.

    If you're asking for a ballpark percentage that guarantee you a passing score regardless of variable weighting and non-scoring questions, experience suggests that, for teacher tests generally, 66% is pretty safe.
     
  4. Acamp

    Acamp Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2019

    Hello and thanks so much for your detailed response! For this praxis I will be taking, it is out of 120 questions and they are all multiple choice (not sure if that makes a difference).

    Question though - if I need a 155, that doesn't necessarily mean I need a 77.5% to pass since 155/200 = 77.5%? That's not how they factor the passing scores, right?
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Nov 21, 2019

    Questions have different weight, or importance. Different versions of the test may have some questions that carry much more weight than others, meaning that yes, you will indeed need 77.5% of the points to pass, but not all questions will be worth the same weight. Some may weigh in at 0.8, while others will weigh in with values above 1.0. The absolute total will be the same, minus the non-scoring questions that are included, but that doesn't mean that the scored questions all carry the same value, or weight. An example would be that if you miss questions 3, 5, and 7, you may have lost 4.5 score points (or more), while getting questions 4, 6, and 8 right may only have earned you, hypothetically, 0.75 point per correct answer, for a total of 2.25 points. You can see that you could otherwise answer the same number of questions right, but if the correctly answered questions were all worth 1.0 point, which would be different if someone else who answered the same number of questions, but they were all worth more than 1.0 per question, making their score higher than yours. You need 77.5% of the available points, but that may not be the same number of questions, since not every question is worth the same value.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 22, 2019

    77.5%? That's a fine aspiration. But you're assuming that the scoring scale runs from 0 to 200. It doesn't. The standard Praxis scaled-score scale runs from 100 to 200. It is impossible to score below 100. It's as though the casino gives everyone 100 chips just for sitting down to the game - but those are special chips that can't be used to ante up or to cash in.

    If baseline is 100 and maximum is 200, then subtracting baseline from maximum gives us the number of scaled points that are available. 200 - 100 = 100: there are 100 scaled points on the table, and achieving a scaled score of 155 requires you to collect 55 of those 100 scaled points (plus or minus some rounding factor: it's not clear whether Praxis rounds both 54.5 and 55.4 to 55, or sees fit to round every score above 54.0 and below 55.0 to 55, or has some other variation on that theme; but I digress).

    In any case, 55/100 is 55% - except that, as already noted,

    Raw points don't map one to one onto scaled points
    There's still the matter of how many of the 120 questions are non-scoring

    The non-scoring questions that a test taker misses do get deducted from the test taker's total raw score, and people find that vexing - but it's important to note that ALL of the non-scoring questions (including, crucially, the ones that the test taker missed) also get deducted from the total number. Suppose a test taker gets 66 of 120 questions right. That's exactly 55% - but if 20 questions are non-scoring and the test taker missed only five of those, the test taker's adjusted-but-not-yet-scaled score would be 61 out of 100 or 61%.
     

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