Scaling and Test Design

The project “Scaling and Test Design” is tasked with

  1. the scaling of competence tests,
  2. the development of test designs for competence surveys, and
  3. carrying out research on longitudinal modeling of the competence data of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS).

Scaling of competence tests:

Tests that measure competencies have to meet certain psychological requirements. The review of item quality and the scaling of tests used in the NEPS are based on models of item response theory. With this, it is possible to examine whether the items of a test measure one-dimensionally, and whether they measure the same construct for those groups of people that are relevant to the NEPS studies. Ongoing tasks include scaling competence data of the NEPS and processing these data for the dissemination in Scientific Use Files.

Research on computer-based test designs:

The valid and efficient measurement of competencies in large-scale assessments requires specific test designs. It is particularly computer-based surveys that can facilitate new and to a large extent standardized test scenarios, which would often be difficult to realize in classic paper-based surveys. One focal point is, therefore, the design and integration of interactive and multimedia task formats for computer-based competence tests as well as the development of computer-adaptive test designs.

Research on longitudinal modeling:

For the measurement of competencies across the life course, competence tests have to measure the exact same construct over a long time. Based on analyses of the tests used in the NEPS, suitable longitudinal models for research on competence development are prepared and are made available.

Test development and ongoing tasks are carried out in close cooperation with the research unit Competencies of the Department Competencies, Personality, Learning Environments.

Contact: skalierung(at)

In special cooperation with: