Fall 2008 Basic Eduation Catalog
Education and Examination System
Multiple–choice questions are scored by optical–scanning equipment. As a check, several papers for each examination are scored by hand. Only the answer sheet determines the score. No credit, partial or full, is given for anything written in the multiple-choice examination book, except as indicated in the next paragraph and as described in the Lost Examinations section.
A multiple–choice question found to be defective may be discarded, leaving scores and rankings as they would have been if the defective question had not been asked. In this situation, the individual examination chairperson may examine the examination books of candidates with the highest failing scores to see if credit should be granted for work on the defective question. See the Defective Questions section for information. For all multiple–choice examinations, no guessing adjustment is made to candidates' scores. Therefore, candidates will maximize their scores by answering every question, even if some of those answers are pure guesses. When there is no guessing adjustment, there is never an advantage to be gained by omitting a question.
For written–answer questions, every effort is made to grade the answers according to completely objective standards. The anonymity of the candidates is fully preserved; committee members see only a candidate number when grading a written–answer examination. Each examination committee has the same grading process adjusted for the number of papers to be graded. A committee with a relatively small number of papers to grade might work as follows. A single committee member is assigned to grade each written–answer question. The grader starts with a grading outline that lists possible items that are directly relevant to the question with numerical values set according to each item's importance. All answers are measured against the same grading outline to ensure that the same standards are applied to all candidates.
Approximately one–third to one–half of the candidates–those with scores fairly near the expected pass mark–will have their written–answer papers re–graded at a central grading session. The papers of the other candidates will not be re–graded, since their scores would not change sufficiently to move from pass to fail or vice versa.
At the central grading session, a different committee member using the same grading outline independently grades each paper. If the second grader's score on a question varies from the first grader's score by more than a small defined tolerance, the two graders discuss the paper in detail and settle upon a score.
For an examination with a relatively large number of candidates, two or more graders will be assigned to each question at the beginning and procedures modified accordingly.
Papers are retained for six months in case questions or problems arise that would warrant special action. After this, the papers are destroyed.