Alternative Item Type (AIT) FAQ
Will the new FE Exam AIT problems affect the passing rate?
With the new Alternative Item Type problems now a staple on the FE Exam, many students are spending time wondering how this change is going to affect specific key areas of the exam.
With any change comes uncertainty…yes.
But with change, also comes opportunity.
To turn uncertainty in to opportunity, we need to start knocking off these little nagging questions one by one so we can regain focus on the task at hand…getting our mind right, preparing adequately for the FE Exam.
Of the many questions coming in to the Prepineer headquarters as of late, many are legitimate concerns that need to be addressed and clarified…which we have set out to do.
Today’s question is one of those, specifically, in the realm of scoring.
With the four additional AIT FE Exam problem types (Multiple Correct Options, Point & Click, Drag & Drop, Fill in the Blank) and the new dynamics in which they will introduce, how will this affect the overall passing rate?
Fair question considering that these new AIT problems will step away from the traditional Multiple Choice, single answer option problems that we are accustomed to seeing on the FE Exam and add a new, more complex, multiple variable element to obtaining a correct answer.
So along with adding these new multivariate AIT elements, the passing rate will take a hit too, right?
At the end of the day, the new Alternative Item Type (AIT) FE Exam problems will not affect the passing rate.
Currently, as stated on the official NCEES FE Exam website, the passing rate ranges anywhere from 56% to 73%.
And we expect that to remain the same.
As it has always been, each exam will be taken by subject matter experts prior to it being administered, wherein which, a minimally accepted level of knowledge (i.e. cut score) will be established congruent with each exams difficulty level. This minimum requirement will continue to be based on psychometric statistical methods and each students score will be converted to a scaled score according to it.
If that scaled score is above the minimally accepted level of knowledge, you pass.
If not, you fail.
It has always been this way…AIT problem or not, scoring will remain the same.
Now, on a micro exam level, despite the multivariate nature of these new Alternative Item Type problems they will remain scored as an “either you get it or you don’t”.
A binary right or wrong.
There will remain no deductions for wrong answers, and just because the new AIT problems will require a multiple variable input to establish a correct score, no partial credit will be given.
We tackled the subject of Partial Credit more in depth in this post:
The game has changed, and for many, it’s intimidating.
We know this, but still believe that no matter what happens, the mindset that you need from day 1 is that everyone is up against the same exact circumstances.
Only difference is this, you know what’s coming, and you are putting in the work to get prepared.
We promise to not let it be any other way.
As always, with Love, Prepineer
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