Bennett, R. E., Rock, D. A., & Kaplan, B. A. (1987). SAT differential item performance for nine handicapped groups . Journal of Educational Measurement , 24 (1), 41–55.

Journal Article

Bennett, R. E., Rock, D. A., & Kaplan, B. A. (1987). SAT differential item performance for nine handicapped groups. Journal of Educational Measurement, 24(1), 41–55.


Braille; College entrance test; Enlarged print (on paper); Extended time; Hearing impairment (including deafness); High school; Learning disabilities; Math; Multiple accommodations; Oral delivery; Physical disability; Recorded delivery (audio or video); Visual impairment (including blindness)



The tests in this study were taken in a variety of formats, including: enlarged type (on paper), Braille, audiocassette, and regular-sized type, and combinations of these accommodations. Extended time was optional for all special administrations.


Four groups of students participated in this study: 437 students with hearing impairments; 6,285 students with learning disabilities, 576 students with physical impairments, 1,585 students with visual impairments.

Dependent Variable

Students' scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Form WSA3 and Form WSA5, were collected and analyzed.


Five of the 162 pairs (all associated with the Mathematical scale) showed evidence of differential operation for a group of students with disabilities. Two instances were accounted for by clusters that were differentially difficult for students with visual impairments taking the Braille edition of the SAT, whereas in the remaining three instances, clusters showed evidence of differential easiness for students with hearing impairments taking the regular-type exam and for examinees with learning disabilities taking the recorded (cassette tape) administration. When the individual item performances associated with these five instances of differential operation were examined, no clear indication was provided that these broad item classes function differentially with examinees with disabilities.