Research about repeated testing has revealed that retaking the same exam form generally does not advantage or disadvantage failing candidates in selected response-style credentialing exams. Feinberg, Raymond, and Haist (2015) found a contributing factor to this phenomenon: people answering items incorrectly on both attempts give the same incorrect response about 2/3 of the time. They concluded that examinees are misinformed, rather than uninformed, about these items. The current research investigated whether reinstatement candidates followed similar patterns. Reinstatement candidates are people that obtain a credential, later discontinue the credential, then retake the exam to regain the credential. Data came from a major certification exam program in medical imaging. Candidates' reinstatement attempts had questions in common with their earlier passing attempts. Results showed that, similar to Feinberg et al., candidates answering questions incorrectly on both passing and reinstatement attempts gave the same incorrect response 65.7% of the time. It appears that professional misconceptions are persistent for numerous years. Other patterns of correct and incorrect responses were consistent when considering the results of both Feinberg et al. and recent research on reinstatement candidates. Results concerning changes in the time spent on each question, however, were different from Feinberg et al. The current study found no substantial patterns in response time change between subsequent attempts for items seen previously. This could have to do with the fact that the items in common between the two exam attempts were only a portion of the larger exam form.
Babcock, Ben and Siegel, Zachary D.
"Reinstatement Candidate Credentialing Exam Performance: Evaluating the Persistence of Misinformed Responses on Multiple Choice Items,"
Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation: Vol. 27, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/pare/vol27/iss1/8