Analysis of Gender-Related Differential Item Functioning In Mathematics Multiple Choice Items Administered By West African Examination Council (WAEC)

Barnabas C. Madu


The purpose of the study was to investigate which items show differential item functioning (DIF) for male and female students in mathematics examination conducted by West African Examination Council (WAEC) in 2011 in Nigeria. The study was carried out in Nsukka Local Government Area using the responses of secondary school students who sat for June/July 2009 examination in Mathematics conducted by WAEC. Data were obtained from responses of 1671 students in 50 multiple-choice test items. The students (examinees) were obtained from 12 senior secondary schools randomly sampled from 20 coeducation schools. DIF was investigated using Scheuneuman Modified Chi-square Statistics (SS?2). The results of the analysis indicated that male and female examinees function differential in 39 items and no difference in ii items. On the basis of the analysis, it becomes necessary that the examining bodies such as WAEC should set and administer items that are fair so that quality education in terms of certification is assured.

Key words: Differential Item Functioning, bias, focal group, reference group    Scheuneuman modified chi square statistics,

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