Good Essay On Nclex Test Efficacy
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Education, Students, New York, Reliability, Nursing, Breastfeeding, Testing, Evaluation
NCLEX Test Efficacy
Instead of supporting the proposed changes, I would urge caution in the intepretation of student test scores. This is because test scores are useful for decision making only when interpreted in criterion-referenced or norm-referenced ways (Oermann & Gaberson). In this case, the perfomance of the students in the NCLEX exam should be compared with those of students from other institutions prior to the making of any changes. I would further urge caution in the interpretation of results on any test for poorly performing students. This is because interpretations of the scores of individual students in any test should also be norm-referenced. Norm-referenced interpretations of individual scores take into account the attributes of score distribution, measures of central tendency, and some degree of variability. They are informed by the understanding that only big variations in scores indicate actual differences in achievement (Oermann & Gaberson, 2006).
Instead of the standardized comprehensive test designed to predict NCLEX, I would propose testing the reliability of the tests currently in use. A reliable test is more likely to to reflect student mastery of nursing content than an unreliable test (Freed, Hess, & Ryan, 2002). This is because the scores of a test-taker in a reliable test reflect random measurement error. Indeed the performance of an examinee on a test is influenced by a number of factors that can be broadly clustered into three. The first group of factors is examinee-specific factors like motivation, fatigue, boredom, carelessness in marking answers, momentary lapses in memoryand luck in guessing answers. The second set of factors are test-specific factors like poor directions and the particular set of items included in a test. The third set of factors are scoring-specific factors like nonuniform scoring guidelines (Wells & Wollack, 2002). Establishing of the reliability of the current test would thus help in the identification of the existing problem and in effect, the formulation of more concrete solutions.
In summary, this paper has described the reasons why the standardized comprehensive test is not the ideal solution to the declining perfomance of students in a nursing program in the NCLEX exam. The paper has described how the perfomance of students in a test is influenced by multiple factors. Further, it has discussed the need to identify the cause of the declining perfomance as this would foster the making of more appropriate decisions.
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Wells, C.S. & Wollack, J. A. (2002). An instructor’s guide to understanding test reliability. Retrieved from http://testing.wisc.edu/Reliability.pdf