The Tao of Test Aberrance

By Dennis Maynes

What is Aberrance?

“Aberrance”1 is a term used to describe something unusual about the way an examinee has responded to the test questions. Aberrant test responses can arise in a variety of ways and are usually a result of the test taker’s behavior. For those who are concerned about test security, cheating behavior is the most interesting aberrant behavior. While aberrance is not synonymous with cheating on an exam or the theft of test questions, it is expected that such activities will leave an imprint and evidence in the data record. Test fraud can be observed from the way the test is taken. The assumption underlying the use of aberrance as an indicator of cheating is that the test responses of individuals engaged in test fraud will be quite different from normal test taking patterns. Aberrance is defined as a pattern of item responses that deviate from the statistical models describing normal test taking patterns. (Continue Reading…)