There are several judgmental methods of setting pass points in psychological testing. Some of the judgmental methods include Nedelsky, Angoff and Ebel. These methods are used to define minimally competent individuals by setting the least qualifications. These methods are used specifically to set cutoff points in multiple choice tests.
The three methods help identify the candidate who is minimally acceptable using a procedure. The practitioners work together under one facilitator during this process, for example, a group of five practitioners. The psychologists appraise the content items of the test and then give an estimation of how they expect the examinees to perform on each of the content items. The psychologists would then set a minimum score, which the minimum acceptable candidate can score. When defining the minimum acceptable sore, the psychologists establish several things. They establish how the minimum candidate would respond to individual items or group of items. The particular tasks performed by psychologists and the steps involved in determining a cutoff score are what distinguish the three methods.
The Nedelsky method uses absolute terms to set a cutoff point. In the multiple choices, practitioners eliminate the choice that is obviously incorrect. They then calculate the expected score for every item. The total of expected choices is set to be the cutoff. The Angoff method is similar to Nedelsky only that the obviously wrong choice is not eliminated. In Ebel, practitioners classify all items in a table according to their difficulty and relevance. The practitioners make a decision on what is the minimum score percentage. The minimum score is found by the product of difficulty or relevance and the practitioner’s decision.
Judgmental methods utilize the ability of practitioners to make rational decisions to set the minimum score that acceptable candidates should score. The Ebel, Angoff and Nedelsky methods are similar, except for the method of calculating the exact pass points.
Kurpius, R., & Stanford, M. E. (2006). Testing and measurement: A user-friendly guide. New york: Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2005). Theories of Personality (8, illustrated ed.). London: Cengage Learning.