Table of Contents

Item Analysis Review

The steps that were explained on the previous pages are consolidated below to assist teachers in completing a review and analysis of their own test items.

  1. Fill in Table 1 using item level data from a multiple-choice assessment of your own where the distractors are diagnostic. Identify the items that were problematic or diagnostic for most students. What are the misunderstandings that need correction?
  2. Using the data from the problematic or diagnostic items identified in Table 1, fill in Table 2 with the item-level data for individual students. Which students showed the misunderstandings? 
  3. Fill Table 3 with your constructed-response assessment data. What student learning needs are indicated? Now look at individual student scores. Which students have learning needs?
  4. Using Table 4, deconstruct frequently missed items that measure the same content standards and the same strands. What patterns do you see in the knowledge, skills, or big ideas? Do these items show the qualities discussed in Unit 6? Are they fair? Do they have any of Popham’s Roadblocks?
  5. Reflect on instruction. Have students had opportunities to learn?
  6. If you have selected- and constructed-response items measuring the same content standards, compare the data from both methods of assessment. If there are discrepancies, reflect on instruction and assessment. Have students had opportunities to be assessed in multiple ways?


Download a copy of the Steps for Item Analysis.