Repeat Testing Effects on Credentialing Exams: Are Repeaters Misinformed or Uninformed?

Richard A. Feinberg, Mark R. Raymond, Steven A. Haist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


To mitigate security concerns and unfair score gains, credentialing programs routinely administer new test material to examinees retesting after an initial failing attempt. Counterintuitively, a small but growing body of recent research suggests that repeating the identical form does not create an unfair advantage. This study builds upon and extends this research by investigating changes in responses to specific items encountered on both the first and repeat attempts. Results indicate that scores gains for repeat examinees who were assigned an identical form were not different from repeat examinees who received a different, but parallel, form. Analyses of responses to individual items answered incorrectly on the initial attempt found that examinees 68% of the time selected the same incorrect option on their second attempt, suggesting repeaters are misinformed rather than uninformed. Implications for feedback, remediation, and retesting policies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalEducational Measurement: Issues and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 by the National Council on Measurement in Education.


  • Certification testing
  • Practice effects
  • Retest effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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