Many traditional educational assessments use multiple-choice items and constructed-response items to measure fundamental skills. Virtual performance assessments, such as game- or simulation-based assessments, are designed recently in the field of educational measurement to measure more integrated skills through the test takers’ interactive behaviors within an assessment in a virtual environment. This paper presents a systematic timing study based on data collected from a simulation-based task designed recently at Educational Testing Service. The study is intended to understand the response times in complex simulation-based tasks so as to shed light on possible ways of leveraging RT information in designing, assembling, and scoring of simulation-based tasks. To achieve this objective, a series of five analyses were conducted to first understand the statistical properties of the timing data, and then investigate the relationship between the timing patterns and the test takers’ performance on the items/task, demographics, motivation level, personality, and test-taking behaviors through use of different statistical approaches. We found that the five analyses complemented each other and revealed different useful timing aspects of this test-taker sample’s behavioral features in the simulation-based task. The findings were also compared with notable existing results in the literature related to timing data.

trialogue | response time | hierarchical modeling framework | cluster analysis | motivation | rapid-guessing behavior