Posts on psychometrics: The Science of Assessment

ASC provides a number of psychometrics tutorial videos regarding our leading-edge software, to help customers better understand the use of the software as well as advanced concepts in psychometrics.  This, in turn, helps you develop higher quality tests and assessments, enhancing reliability and validity.

We have recently released two new videos: Item Response Theory with Xcalibre 4, and an Introduction to Item Writing.

Xcalibre is landmark software that not only analyzes data with item response theory, but automatically builds tech reports in MS Word with embedded graphics, tables, and narratives.  This saves many hours of drudgery work from psychometricians, which is expensive!

Videos are available on our our YouTube Channel.

Here are the September 2012 updates and news…


Xcalibre 4.1.8 update provides new functionality

A free update to Xcalibre 4.1.8 has been released.  Current users can download the update at our support page, If you do not yet use Xcalibre to produce your IRT reports, you can download a copy at The following improvements have been made:

  • Polytomous categories with zero endorsement can now automatically be collapsed
  • Data Matrix and Item Control Files can now include a header line of identification (helps you keep track of which column is which!)
  • Not-administered and/or omitted responses can be replaced with monte-carlo generated model-fitting data in the scored matrix file – useful for sparse data sets
  • The scored data matrix file is now saved in the same format as the input data matrix
  • Delimited scored matrix files now automatically include header line with same item names used in Item Control File
  • The level of precision in the output is now controllable
  • Revised manual


ASC now provides complete one-stop-shop for certification organizations

ASC provides FastTest Web (, a best-in-class software for item authoring, test development, and test delivery.  We are currently integrating a module for examinee registration, payment processing, and scheduling for our network of testing centers.  In combination with extensive consulting services from our PhD experts in psychometrics and accreditation, we now provide a comprehensive solution for certification organizations large and small.  If your organization delivers professional certifications, we encourage you to contact!


New credential released: Certified Social Media Strategist

ASC has worked with the National Institute for Social Media (  to develop a landmark credential, the Certified Social Media Strategist.  This is the first certification designed specifically for the explosively growing field of social media.  More information is available at   If your organization is involved in any social media marketing, please forward this message to relevant personnel!


These are the September 2012 updates!

Here are some brief updates and news for April 2012: new website and updates to Xcalibre 4, CATSim, and FastTest Web!

New ASC Website

To reflect ASC’s growing stature in the testing industry, we have released a new website that better reflects our new role as a comprehensive, world-class testing organization.  In addition to massively expanding our psychometric software capabilities, we now offer full consulting services, a network of secure testing centers, and software to completely manage the entire assessment process.  Check out the new site at!  We have also upgraded our new webstore (shopping cart system) and added a sleek, modern layout to be more customer-friendly; visit the store at In addition, we are in the process of integrating Google Wallet functionality for enhanced credit card security and convenience.

ASC presents workshop to SADC in Botswana

ASC presented a workshop on item response theory (IRT) and computerized adaptive testing (CAT) to member countries of the Southern African Development Council.  The workshop took place March 4-9 in Botswana, and provided five days of background and hands-on instruction regarding the application of these modern methods to solving issues in educational assessment, with a focus on ASC’s landmark software, Iteman 4 and Xcalibre 4.  Such a combination of ASC’s consulting services and leading-edge software can help your organization move to the next level; contact solutions@ to learn more.

FastTEST Web updates

FastTest Web (FTW), our platform for item authoring and internet-based assessment, is being upgraded almost continually to stay at the forefront of testing technology.  In March, we released functionality that allows tests to be published as a public link, ideal for low stakes exams or pilot testing, as an alternative to the high-security registration process currently in place.  This approach is integrated with new functionality for managing demographic information on examinees; you can request that examinees enter such information before starting the test.  Additionally, we rebuilt the item authoring tool to be more user-friendly and WYSIWYG.  As always, we’ve also released a number of small enhancements.  The next major release will include an advanced Asset Manager for multimedia and the capability for testlets, groups of items that share a reading passage or other common stimulus.

Xcalibre 4 updated

ASC’s cutting-edge software for item response theory has been substantially updated.  This is a free update for current license holders, and includes several bug fixes as well as improved functionality:

  • User can specify bounds for scaled scores
  • Lz person fit statistic now computed
  • Test response function (TRF) values are now output
  • Chi-square item fit statistics enhanced
  • Subgroup analysis based on DIF group membership
  • Rebuilt ranking of ability estimates to be much faster
  • Observed item response function (fit line) now includes multi-key items
  • Many more small improvements!

Current users can upgrade at our support page; new users can download a free version here.  Don’t forget that graduate students can obtain free licenses from the APM student grants program!

CATSim updated

CATSim, the software that provides the research necessary for computerized adaptive testing (CAT) has also been upgraded.  The update focuses primarily on bug fixes.  Current users can upgrade for free at our support page; new users can download a free version here.

ASC to present at 2012 SIOP Conference

ASC will present a mini-workshop on the development of computerized adaptive tests (CATs) at the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference.  The session is scheduled for 1:30 P.M. on Friday, April 27.  More information is available at the SIOP website.  Please join us and learn about our CAT solutions and assessments!