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How to Read and Really Use an Item Analysis

McGahee, Thayer W. PhD, RN; Ball, Julia PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0b013e3181aaba94
Feature Articles

A frequent challenge for nursing faculty is to write a test that effectively evaluates learning and prepares students to be successful on the NCLEX-RN examination. Use of item analysis is an approach often used to provide an objective evaluation of examinations. Interpreting these analyses, however, can be frustrating. The authors provide an explanation of the various components of an item analysis, how to make an analysis useful for faculty, and how to use the components of an item analysis in revising tests.

Authors' Affiliation: Assistant Professor (Dr McGahee), Dean and Associate Professor (Dr Ball), College of Nursing, University of South Carolina Aiken, Aiken, South Carolina.

Corresponding Author: Dr McGahee, College of Nursing, University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801 (

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.