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The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School

Item Response Theory and Computer Adaptive Testing

A three-day course introducing you to Item Response Theory (IRT) and Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) using the R open-source statistical computing software and Concerto, the open-source online adaptive test development platform. Get first-hand experience of applying IRT analysis to questionnaire data and create item banks suitable for computer adaptive testing. 

  • Introduction to R and RStudio
  • Basic concepts of Item Response Theory (IRT)
  • Generation of calibrated item banks using R packages
  • Simulating CATs to assess item bank performance
  • Scoring CATs using R
  • Administering CATs using Concerto  


All participants will receive a digital copy of their Certificate of Attendance, signed by the course instructors and displaying the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre logo.

Feedback from previous courses:

"The course was incredibly well pitched.. it was the best course I have ever attended in terms of quality of teaching!"
"The introduction to R was very useful for me, Aiden and Chris were good teachers and very helpful." 
"A really great atmosphere and great teaching that fostered a collaborative learning environment."
"I liked the 'spirit' of the workshop which was intense, motivating and very hands-on - thank you so much for a brilliant course!"
 "An excellent three days; it was incredibly informative, well-paced and well organised."


Event Location Dates and Times Price per delegate (exc.VAT) Tutors

Online (via Zoom)

Troubleshooting Info 

9-11 November 2022 (3-day course)

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday:
09.30 - 17.00 GMT

Click on links below to register.

Register as an individual:

Business: £995
Academics: £795 
Students: £595 

Register as an organisation:

Business: £995
Academics: £795 
Students: £595 


Dr Aiden Loe

Dr Luning Sun

Dr Joe Watson

Prior experience with R is not necessary. Participants should bring their own laptops with the latest version of R installed ( ) and also RStudio ( )


CAT Demos using Concerto Version 5:

Quality of Life

Verbal Reasoning

Numerical Reasoning

More Demos

On-the-fly item generation using Concerto V5:

Verbal Logic

Before attending:

1. Install the Zoom Client for Meetings. You will receive an invite to the Zoom sessions from instructors after course registration. The native client works better than the browser plug-in.

2. Install the latest version of R from

3. Install the latest version of RStudio from 

4. Make sure you have a stable internet connection and that your microphone, headphones and webcam are all working in Zoom. You will need to use these throughout the course to communicate with instructors and other delegates.

5. You should expect to receive a link to the Zoom call one week before the course



Day 1 – Introduction to R and Rstudio

09.30 – 11.00 R and Rstudio installation, Introduction to R

11.00 - 12.30 Data analysis and R basics

12.30 - 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 - 15.30 Practical

15.30 - 17.00 Introduction to Concerto, Practical examples and exercises, Questions

Day 2 – Item Response Theory (IRT)

09.30 - 11.00 IRT (Theory), Application of IRT models (Practical)

11.00 - 12.30 Different IRT response scales (dichotomous and polytomous)  (Theory), Analysing polytomous scales using the Rasch model (Practical)

12.30 - 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 - 15.30 IRT modelling  of the CESD depression scale (Theory & Practical)

15.30 - 17.00 IRT diagnostics of the CESD depression scale (Theory & Practical), Practical examples and exercises, Revisions and Questions

Day 3 – Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) with Concerto

09.30 - 11.00 Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT Theory and Practical)

11.00 - 12.30 Firestar simulation of item bank performance (Practical), Programming a polytomous adaptive test using the catR package (Practical)

12.30 - 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 - 15.30 Introduction to adaptive testing in Concerto (Theory and Practical)

15.30 - 17.00 Final Revision & Exercise, Certificates and Q&A


Click here to visit the Covid-19 section of FAQs

Wednesday, 9 November, 2022 - 09:30 to Friday, 11 November, 2022 - 17:00
Event location: 

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