This real-data-guided simulation study systematically evaluated the decision accuracy of complex decision rules combining multiple tests within different realistic curricula. Specifically, complex decision rules combining conjunctive aspects and compensatory aspects were evaluated. A conjunctive aspect requires a minimum level of performance, whereas a compensatory aspect requires an average level of performance. Simulations were performed to obtain students' true and observed score distributions and to manipulate several factors relevant to a higher education curriculum in practice. The results showed that the decision accuracy depends on the conjunctive (required minimum grade) and compensatory (required grade point average) aspects and their combination. Overall, within a complex compensatory decision rule the false negative rate is lower and the false positive rate higher compared to a conjunctive decision rule. For a conjunctive decision rule the reverse is true. Which rule is more accurate also depends on the average test reliability, average test correlation, and the number of reexaminations. This comparison highlights the importance of evaluating decision accuracy in high-stake decisions, considering both the specific rule as well as the selected measures.

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Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice
Department of Psychology

Yocarini, I., Bouwmeester, S., Smeets, G., & Arends, L. (2018). Systematic Comparison of Decision Accuracy of Complex Compensatory Decision Rules Combining Multiple Tests in a Higher Education Context. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. doi:10.1111/emip.12186