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Sampling fluctuations resulting from the sampling of test items

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Sampling fluctuations resulting from the sampling of test items rather than of examinees are discussed. It is shown that the Kuder-Richardson reliability coefficients actually are measures of this type of sampling fluctuation. Formulas for certain standard errors are derived; in particular, a simple formula is given for the standard error of measurement of an individual examinee's score. A common misapplication of the Wilks-Votaw criterion for parallel tests is pointed out. It is shown that the Kuder-Richardson formula-21 reliability coefficient should be used instead of the formula-20 coefficient in certain common practical situations.

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Most of the work reported here was carried out under contract with the Office of Naval Research. The writer is indebted to Professor S. S. Wilks, who has checked over certain critical portions of a draft of this paper.

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Lord, F.M. Sampling fluctuations resulting from the sampling of test items. Psychometrika 20, 1–22 (1955).

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