Validity of biology items in 2006, 2007, and 2008 student selection test in turkey

Koyuncu, Fulya
Student selection test in Turkey compose of two parts. The purpose of the first part is to assess students’ higher order thinking skills like analytical thinking, interpretation and reasoning about elementary school curriculum and 9th grade curricula objectives. On the other hand, second part of the test aims to assess students’ higher order thinking skills given in the high school curriculum. The main aim of this thesis is to analyze to what extend 2006, 2007 and 2008 student selection tests biology items assess higher order cognitive skills. In accordance with this purpose, elementary and high school curriculum and the appropriateness of the questions in the student selection test with the educational objectives of the curriculum are examined. In addition, dimensions of 2006, 2007, and 2008 SST biology items are examined by Exploratory Component Analysis and Confirmatory Component Analysis techniques. The result of those analysis revealed that SST biology items mostly focus on remembering skill and fail to assess higher order thinking skills. Additionally, there is not any consistency among 2006, 2007, and 2008 SSTs biology items in terms of dimensions which means there is not any construct in biology subtests of SSTs. The other aim of the present study is to identify how much academic and non-academic factors explain the biology achievement. While for academic factors reading comprehension, mathematics, physics, and chemistry achievements of students are used, age, gender, and school type are used for non-academic factors. Findings of the research revealed that academic factors, especially chemistry achievement, have significant affect on biology achievement. In terms of non-academic factors, graduating from selecting high school has important role for biology achievement. Additionally, older students and girls tend to have higher grades in biology.