Software for developing computer-adaptive tests

Name Description Publisher
Assessment CenterAssessment Center is a free online tool which provides functionality for creating and delivering adaptive tests. Additional Copyright attributions: 2007-2009 David Cella, Ph.D. and Richard Gershon, Ph.D.Northwestern University – Department of Medical Social Sciences (NU-MSS)
CATSimCATSim runs three types of data simulation for key stages of computer-adaptive test (CAT) development.ASC
Concerto: R-Based Online Adaptive Testing PlatformConcerto is a web-based computer-adaptive testing system which is free. It is based on R, the open source statistical programming language. Supports HTML-based items with embedded multimedia, and production of graphical reports and feedback.The Psychometrics Centre, University of Cambridge
FastTEST WebFastTEST Web provides a user-friendly environment for the complete test (including CAT) development cycle. Secure web-based delivery is also supported.ASC, 4ROI
FIRESTAR: CAT Simulator v 1.3.2The FIRESTAR: CAT Simulator program is suitable for use with polytomous item response models. Additional attribution information: IRT models by Seung W. Choi, PhD. Department of Medical Social Sciences Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)
irt-catThe irt-cat open source project provides internet-based computer adaptive testing (CAT) code based on 3PL or Rasch item response models.Lee, Park & Park
Open Source Computerized Adaptive Testing System (OSCATS)The OSCATS code libraries enable development and simulation of CATs. A range of measurement models and CAT selection algorithms are supported.Open Source
Smart Test Technology®Smart Test Technology® is the world's first multidimensional computer adaptive testing platform. It is able to administer Internet-based computer adaptive tests on the basis of one or more abilities. Several built-in security features include randomized question options, disable screen printing, and controlled navigation. Smart Test Technology® has been used for high stakes testing in universities and police departments in the United States.Adaptive Assessment Services (AAS), Inc
WebeXaminer FASTCATWebeXaminer FASTCAT is a web-based computer-adaptive system featuring IRT test development and analysis tools. It also includes growth-reporting tools.WebExaminer Limited
WLE Theta EstimatorWLE Theta Estimator is an openly available PHP script which takes arrays of item difficulty thresholds, and person scores for those items, and estimates a value of theta - the Rasch measure of a latent trait - via weighted likelihood estimation. The script might be useful for people or organisations who have a Rasch calibrated item bank and would like to experiment with creating their own rudimentary online adaptive testing system.ablemetrics

Computer-adaptive testing (CAT) is an increasingly prominent assessment design paradigm.

The key benefit of a CAT test is that test takers generally respond to fewer test questions, potentially reducing testing time, with negligible loss of measurement precision. Associated benefits include reduced item exposure (item banks can be expensive to replenish and over-exposed items are more susceptible to braindumps), reduced likelihood of test-taker fatigue, and the presentation of appropriately difficult items to individual test takers. Constructing computer-adaptive tests is a technically demanding feat, generally requiring expertise in assessment design principles and a sound knowledge of item response theory. Thankfully, there are a number of commercially and freely available tools to assist, and experts who can guide the process.

For further reading about CAT, and for access to CAT-related resources, see:

Rudner, Lawrence M. (1998). An On-line, Interactive, Computer Adaptive Testing Tutorial

CAT Central, developed and maintained by David J. Weiss