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ITC Guidelines on Adapting Tests

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About the ITC Guidelines on Adapting Tests

The ITC Guidelines on Adapting Tests were developed by a 13-person committee representing a number of international organizations. The objective was to produce a detailed set of guidelines for adapting psychological and educational tests for use in various different linguistic and cultural contexts (Van de Vijver & Hambleton, 1996). This is an area of major importance as tests become used in more and more countries, and as tests developed in one country get translated or adapted for use in another. Adaptation needs to consider the whole cultural context within which a test is to be used. Indeed, the adaptation guidelines apply wherever tests are moved from one cultural setting to another - regardless of whether there is a need for translation. Hambleton (1994) describes the project in detail and outlines the 22 guidelines that have emerged from it. These guidelines fall into four main categories: those concerned with the cultural context, those concerned with the technicalities of instrument development and adaptation, those concerned with test administration, and those concerned with documentation and interpretation. All but the second of these also have direct implications for test use and for test users.

In 2006, the ITC hosted a conference on Test adaptation across language and cultures in Brussels. This conference provided information, guidance and support for updating the ITC Guidelines on Adapting Tests. Please click here for more details on the conference web site.

For a more in depth treatment of the ITC Guidelines for Test Adaptation please see:

Hambleton, R. K. (2005). Issues, Designs and Technical Guidelines for Adapting Tests Into Multiple Languages and Cultures. In R. K. Hambleton, P. F. Merenda and C. D. Spielberger (Eds.). Adapting Psychological and Educational Tests for Cross-Cultural Assessment. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.