Validation of the Vocabulary Size Test

Gökcan M., Aktan D. Ç.

Journal of Measurement and Evaluation in Education and Psychology, vol.13, no.4, pp.305-327, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


The Vocabulary Size Test (VST) is one of the most commonly used assessment tools for measuring English vocabulary size in the field of language testing. Despite its common usage, only a limited number of validity and reliability studies have been carried out with regard to the VST. Besides, they were mostly predicated on the Rasch model. This validation study has attempted to reveal evidence for construct validity for the VST, and to this end, item response theory (IRT) analyses were performed based on the three-parameter logistic model (3PLM). The assumptions of IRT were investigated via factor analysis (unidimensionality) and Yen’s Q3 statistic (local independence). Detailed differential item functioning (DIF) analyses were conducted with Mantel-Haenszel, Lord's chi-square test, and Logistic regression methods to add evidence based on internal structure and to check fairness as a lack of measurement bias. The validation results with IRT showed that the 3PLM fitted the data better than the one- and the two-parameter logistic models. DIF results indicated that 10 items exhibited large DIF (seven favoring males and three favoring females). The results further showed that the guessing effect was not negligible for the VST.