Surprising scores

Issue 12 and Volume 150.

Surprising scores Henry Morse, M.A. Instructor IV President, Fire Service Testing Company, Inc. Member, Federal Point (NC) Volunteer Fire Department Most departments consider 70 percent to be a passing score on a written test. That has worked pretty well, and there is perhaps no need to change it now. It can be interesting, however, to consider some things that score tells us and some things it doesn`t. If a candidate knew absolutely nothing on a four-choice or multiple-choice test and answered every question on a properly constructed test purely by guessing, that candidate should score 25 percent if he guesses using the best guessing system. Imagine that. Yet the odds of such a candidate scoring more than that go up tremendously. The odds of that candidate`s scoring 100 percent by guessing alone are one in a pentadecillion–that is, one in 1,000,000,000,000,000,-000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That`s using a four-choice multiple choice test and assuming…

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