Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT)

Adaptive testing is defined as a computer-based test that is able to adapt to a student's understanding of the subject matter. Adaptive testing is important to teachers and administrators because it provides a more accurate picture of what a student knows and the results can be analyzed immediately to remediate and enrich learning.

The IMS Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) standard provides a way of establishing interoperability between test delivery platforms and adaptive testing engines and eliminates the need for costly proprietary integrations. The CAT standard treats adaptive engines as a black box, protecting the algorithm that powers the adaptivity and defines a simple API for secure communication between systems. CAT is tightly connected to the Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) specification to take advantage of the item model and metadata, scoring, and usage data.

CAT architecture

The IMS CAT v1.0 specification is available as Public Candidate Final. The QTI project group is working to complete and define the Conformance Certification requirements, test set and documentation. Upon successful certification of multiple delivery and adaptive testing engines, the specification will be presented to the IMS Technical Advisory Board for vote and approval.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved, post a note in the IMS public forums.