A content analysis of the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills Reading Test, Form Q, Level 4.

A study of the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills, Form Q, Level 4, was undertaken to analyze the following relationships: the relationship between the reading selections and the correct answers; and the relationship between the distractor statements and other facets comprising the test item, specifically the reading selections, and correct answer. In addition, the study analyzed the nature of the subject matter and the extent to which previous knowledge and value judgments were necessary. The analysis of the correct answers indicated that most of them required concept recognition. The distractors generally had a textual-grammatical associative relationship with the selections, questions and correct answers. The subject matter was divided between non-academic selections, literature, language usage, science and humanities. Previous knowledge was required in over one-quarter of the questions. Value judgments could be made in over ten per cent of the questions. Because of interference of previous knowledge and value judgments, combined with low-interest subject matter for the average student, the researcher concluded that the test was inadequate for non-academic students and particularly so for students of bi-lingual and minority cultures.