Developing and Validating Item Bank in Science and Mathematics at Primary Level Using Item Response Theory


Item bank, Item response theory, Item calibration


An item bank is relatively a large collection of calibrated items categorized by
subject, item type and grade level. This quantitative study provides the procedure for
developing, assembling, validating and calibrating item bank using item response theory.
The researchers developed 300 items, 150 in the subject of Science and 150 in the subject
of Mathematics that was split into two tests, each of 75 items. Each test was administered
on 960 students of Grade 5. The content of the tests was based on the national curriculum
(2006) and textbooks of Science and Mathematics of Grade 5. The tests were piloted on 50
students in two urban public schools of district Lahore. Accordingly, test items were
reviewed and improved. Table of specification was developed for both subjects Science
and Mathematics. Both tests were validated by consulting three relevant experts. After
collecting the data, items were analyzed by using ConQuest software. Total 300 items were
analyzed 150 in the subject of Science and 150 in the subject of Mathematics. Total 224
test items were fulfilling the criteria of item difficulty (0.11 to 0.91) and discrimination
index (0.20 to 0.40), out of which 113 in the subject of Science and 111 in the subject of
Mathematics. The study recommended to use the developed items of Science and
Mathematics on a large scale to measure the abilities of the students. Teachers may
prepare their students of Grade 5 for Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) by using
these items.