Construction, validation and DIF determination of a test on problem solving for pre-service mathematics teachers

2015 IJRSE – Volume 4 Issue 4


Torio, Von Anthony G.*
Institute of Teaching and Learning, Philippine Normal University, Philippines (

Cabrillas-Torio, Myla Zenaida
Institute of Teaching and Learning, Philippine Normal University, Philippines (


The field of Mathematics requires a lot of critical thinking and problem solving. These skills are honed as early as the basic education years of the students. Teacher training institutions should make it a necessity that they are able to cater to pre-service teachers who will be able to meet the demands of mathematics education. This paper aimed to construct, validate and determine the Differential Item Functioning (DIF) of a problem solving test for pre-service mathematics teachers. This test will later be used as a basis for designing interventions to improve the mathematical aptitude of pre-service teachers. Two universities were chosen with 100 third year students taking Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education major in Mathematics. The tests were constructed and validated by experts before administration to the participants. The participants took the examination and the test was improved based on the results of the item analysis. Differential Item Functioning was also tested using the Standardization Method. The study led to the development of a 60-item validated test on problem solving. After subjecting to DIF analysis, it was found that the two groups tested performed with no significant difference between individuals of similar abilities. The test yielded norm values per sub-skill of the test which will help gauge pre-service mathematics teachers’ problem-solving skills.

Keywords: problem solving; pre-service teachers; mathematics education; Philippines; differential item functioning



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