You are here: Home / Publications / Articles / Item position effects in a reading comprehension test: An IRT study of individual differences and individual correlates
Item position effects in a reading comprehension test: An IRT study of individual differences and individual correlates
Nagy, G., Nagengast, B., Becker, M., Rose, N., Frey, A.

Item position effects in a reading comprehension test: An IRT study of individual differences and individual correlates

Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling, 60(2), 165-187. Open Access

Item  position  (IP)  effects  typically  indicate  that  items  become  more  difficult  towards  the  end of   test. Such effects are thought to reflect the persistence with which test takers invest effort and work precisely on the test. As such, IP effects may be related to cognitive and motivational variables that are relevant for maintaining a high level of effort and precision. In this article, we analyzed IP effects in a reading comprehension test. We propose an IRT model that includes random IP effects affecting item difficulties and fixed IP effects affecting item discriminations. We found evidence for gradually increasing item difficulties and decreasing discriminations. Variation in IP effects on the item difficulties  was  systematically related  to  students’ decoding  speed  and  reading enjoyment.  The  results demonstrate  that  the relationship between  the  overall  scores  and  other  variables  is affected by  respondents’ test-taking behavior, which is reflected in the random IP effect.