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Test-taking engagement and test-taking behavior: Modeling the processes underlying item nonresponse and guessing
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) ;
Test-taking behavior - such as engaged (solution behavior) vs. disengaged behavior - or testtaking strategies strongly impact the results of large scale assessments (LSAs) and challenge the
comparability of scores due to differences in such behavior. When disengaged, examinees might
not apply their abilities when responding, but instead a) proceed quickly through the assessment
by randomly guessing or b) generate no response at all and omit items (Verbic & Tomic, 2009;
Wise & Gao, 2017). Such disengaged test-taking behavior poses a severe threat to the validity of
results obtained from LSAs since test scores assumed to reflect the level of competency may be
confounded with the level of engagement (Braun, Kirsch, & Yamamoto, 2011). Researchers
therefore aim at identifying persons with certain test-taking behavior in order to judge the quality of the assessment (e.g., Wise & Kong, 2005), exclude persons from scaling (e.g., Wise, Wise, &
Bhola, 2006) or downweight their influence (Ranger, Wolgast, & Kuhn, 2019). To date, the research
on item nonresponse and guessing is rather distinct, although both may be indicators of the same
motivational or cognitive status. In the current project, we aim for extending these models.

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