Construct validity and factor structure of student selection examination across subgroups

Arıkan, Serkan
In developing countries, there is a great demand for university education. In order to select students to universities a standardized test score is used. In Turkey, the Student Selection Test (SST) have important role in admission to universities. However, there is very limited knowledge about what SST mathematics sections actually measures. The main purpose of the present study is to evaluate the content of the mathematics subtest of the SST in line with mathematical cognitive skills and eventually provide construct related evidence for dimensionality of the test items. Within this framework, it is aimed to cross validate the mathematics subtest across gender groups, school types and two consecutive years. Also relations among mathematical abilities are investigated. This study is first in investigating what is measured by SST Mathematics sections and analyzing construct validity by testing several nested confirmatory factor models. Comparison of fit indices of five competitive models showed three-factor model has better fit indices in which Basic Computation Ability, Advanced Computation Ability and Geometry Ability is measured. It is concluded that problem solving items are not measuring a different process, but measures some sort of computation ability. There is a problem related to the content of the mathematics subtests of the SST in line with mathematical cognitive skills. Higher order cognitive skills are not measured properly. Three-factor model is tested about the invariance of the factors across gender, school types and years. It is concluded that invariant factor structure indicates that SST mathematics section is operating similarly for subgroups and years. The relations among mathematical abilities on three-factor model are investigated by item mapping and structural equation models. It is seen that Basic Computation Ability is a prerequisite to acquire Geometry Ability and Advanced Computation Ability.


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Citation Formats
S. Arıkan, “Construct validity and factor structure of student selection examination across subgroups,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2010.