CAT is a method of delivering examinations that uses computer technology and measurement theory. Items go through an extensive review process before they can be used as items on the examination.
Computer technology selects items to administer that match the candidate’s ability. The items, which are stored in a large item pool, have been classified by test plan category and level of difficulty.
After the candidate answers an item, the computer calculates an ability estimate based on all of the previous answers the candidate selected.
The next item is then chosen that measures the candidate’s ability most precisely in the appropriate test plan category.
The examination continues with items selected and administered in this way until a pass or fail decision is made.
All registered nurse candidates must answer a minimum of 75 items. The maximum number of items that the candidate may answer is 265 during the allotted six-hour time period. Examination instructions and all rest breaks are included in the measurement of the time allowed for a candidate to complete the examination.
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