Alternative Item Type (AIT) FAQ
How many AIT problems will be on the FE Exam?
With the new Alternative Item Type problems now a reality on the FE Exam, many students are coming to us and asking how many they should expect to see when they sit for their exam.
The short answer, we have no clue.
We have heard varying experiences coming from the trenches and we all know that the NCEES is constantly changing up the distribution of problems to keep us all in check.
However, they have given some general indication on what we can expect to see.
For those who are new to the term Alternative Item Type, or it’s relative acronym AIT, and how it relates to the FE Exam, here is a quick recap, which can be found in greater depth on the FE Exam AIT Resource Page we have set up for you to capture everything AIT.
Beginning back in July of 2017 we began seeing five types of questions on the FE Exam, four new types.
Along with the traditional Multiple Choice type which gives us the option to choose one correct answer, we also began to see problem types that included MULTIPLE CORRECT OPTIONS, DRAG & DROP, POINT & CLICK, and FILL IN THE BLANK.
Here is how each new AIT problem type breaks down:
- MULTIPLE CORRECT OPTIONS are what they sound like, you as the examinee will be presented more than four answer options from which you will have the option to choose however many choices you see as correct.
- DRAG AND DROP requires test takers to click on and drag items to match, sort, rank, or label a provided graphic.
- POINT AND CLICK requires examinees to click on one or more predetermined clickable onscreen areas of a graphic to answer the problem.
- FILL IN THE BLANK provides a space for you to enter a response to the question instead of choosing from a list of answer options.
All these AIT problems have one thing in common…multiple variables that contribute to a correct answer.
So how many AIT problems can we expect to see on the FE Exam?
Although the majority of questions will continue to be in the traditional Multiple Choice format with one correct answer, the NCEES has stated that up to 10% of the questions may be of Alternative Item Type nature, or AIT.
This tells us then that we can expect to see anywhere from 10-15 AIT problems on whatever discipline specification we choose to tackle.
The game has changed, and for many, it’s intimidating.
Although all other aspects of the FE Exam remain unchanged, having the potential for 10-15 of the FE Exam problems in this new AIT format may cause for some uncertainty and questioning in how you are preparing.
But it is what it is – the same for every single person stepping foot in to that Pearson Vue testing center.
Only difference is this, you know that AIT’s actually exist, most don’t, and you are putting in the work to get prepared.
We promise to not let it be any other way.
As aways, with Love, Prepineer
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