ANALYSIS OF DIFFICULTY INDEX BASED ON SYMBOLS, GRAPHS AND PROBLEM SOLVING ITEMS IN SIXTH FORM ECONOMY TEST
Universiti Utara Malaysia (MALAYSIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:A study was carried out to identify the difficulty of the symbols, graphs and problem solving items in a Economy test. This study also explored students’ perceptions towards their achievement in the test. The sample comprised of 150 Sixth Form students from five national secondary schools in Kedah, which offered the Economy subject at the Sixth Form level. The test comprised of 18 items with six symbol items, six graph items and six problem solving items. This test covered Chapters 1-4 of the microeconomic and macroeconomic areas within the Sixth Form Economy subject syllabus. All these items were validated by a group of experts and experienced Form Six Economy subject teachers. The findings show that the item difficulty indices for the symbol items, graph items, and economy problem solving items are 0.65, 0.45, and 0.49 respectively, which indicate that students in the study can understand the items presented using symbols better than the items involving graphs or in the form of problem solving. The students seemingly faced a greater difficulty with the graph items compared to the economy problem solving items. For the symbol items, students faced difficulty in answering Item 2 (Saving Function – 0.20) and Item 4 (Market Balance – 0.28). For the graph items, the students had difficulty in answering Item 4 (Demand – 0.25) and Item 2 (Two sectors C + I – 0.29). For the problem solving items, students found it difficult to answer Item 5 (Tax – 0.21). From the interviews, the students indicate that the symbol items were easier to answer compared to the graph items and the problem solving items. The findings in the study implied that a combination of the symbol items, the graph items and problem solving items should be considered in the construction of items for Sixth Form Economy tests without disregarding the Bloom taxonomy levels.
Keywords: Symbol, graph, problem solving, economy achievement, difficulty index.