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Test Bias? Test Bias?

Neil Reid and Alison Gilmore

Most claims of bias in a test concern its content. Each of the three illustrations contains elements of content bias, which is the type of test bias that comes readily to mind for most people. A test with biased content contains questions that in one sense or another are 'unfair' to an identifiable sub-group of those being tested. Examples of typical bias cited include: words that are unknown or unfamiliar; topics that have not been covered adequately or at all, questions drawing on experiences outside the range of those normally expected for an age, class or minority group; emphasis in the tests on values and skills that are traditionally middle-class European, and so on. The concerns are genuine. Are they justified?

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