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Test theory and scale development



The course provides an overview of psychometrics and in particular of test theory. Test theory is presented from the perspective of both classical test theory and item-response theory including an exposition of reliability and validity in all their facets as well as their respective implications for the research practice. Multivariate analysis techniques commonly used in evaluating and analyzing tests, such as principal component analysis, and item-response theory will be presented at a conceptual level.

Course objectives

  • A thorough understanding of the various theories and methodological approaches (data analysis techniques included) which are commonly used in the research programs that are central to this master (achievement level 2);

  • The ability of critically selecting, studying and analyzing literature relevant to the issues and problems presented by the curriculum and the connected research programs (5);

  • The ability to independently formulate, perform and assess scientific research at a level suitable to preparing scientific publications (7);

  • The ability to write scientific reports in English (8);

  • Advanced, up to date knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methodology (9).


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

Mode of instruction

  • Six lectures

  • Five computer lab sessions, participation is mandatory.

  • Group assignment

Assessment method

The final grade will be based on a written exam (60%) and an oral presentation in class of a (group) assignment (40%). Both the written exam and the oral presentation of the group assignment (individually graded) must each be 5.5 or higher. Both the exam and the assignment can only be retaken in case they are below the pass grade. In the case that the presentation of the group assignment is deemed insufficient, the student is given the opportunity to complete the assignment to a satisfactory level within a time frame set by the instructors in a written essay. Participation in the lab classes is mandatory and failure to participate may lead to additional assignments set by the instructors.


During this course Brightspace is used.

Reading list

  • Furr, R.M. (2018). Psychometrics. An introduction (3th ed.). Los Angeles, etc: Sage Publications, Inc.


It is mandatory to register for each course via uSis. This applies to both the lectures and the working groups, even if they take place online. Without a valid registration in uSis you will not be able to participate in the course and you will not have access to the Brightspace module of the course.

In addition, it is also mandatory to register separately in uSis for each exam (i.e. both the first exam opportunity and, if necessary, the resit) in uSis. This also applies to partial examinations in a course. This is possible up to 10 calendar days prior to the exam. You cannot take the exam without a valid registration in uSis.

NB If the exam concerns a paper or a practical assignment, you do not need to register in uSis.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

NB After you have registered in uSis, check whether your registration for lectures, working groups and the exam are registered there. This prevents disappointment.

Contact information

The course manager is dr. Harold Nefs.