One way to test the reliability of a test is to repeat the test. This is not always possible. Another approach, which is applicable to questionnaires, is to divide the test into two halves and compare the results.
Hi Charles I’m doing a research regarding professional teaching delivery with 4 factors:teaching skills, instructional materials, classroom management, and content knowledge. I have 10 questions for each factor for a total of 40 items. What tool can u advise me to utilize for the reliability of the questionnaire?
One approach is to calculate four separate Cronbach’s alpha for each block of 10 questions (for each factor).
Hi. For construct validity what test to be used. I have used cronbach alpha and the reliability score is good. This is for 18 questions, 5 likert scale on psychological stress. Thank you in advance.
Validity depends on the specific information domain, and so I don’t have an easy answer for you without more information. Sometimes you could show that the results are comparable to another test that has already been shown to be valid.
I have a 20-point multiple choice test on measures of centrality. Is it appropriate to use the split-half to test its reliability?
Yes, you can.
Thank you Charles!
Why is it appropriate to use the split-half method to test the reliability of my instrument?
Hi again Charles. I sent a note yesterday about calculating SplitHalf reliabilities yielding several that were >1.0. However, I just realized that the ones yielding Spearman-Brown SHs > 1.o were negatively correlated (due to the fact that what I entered were difference scores). I just re-reran the with my own formulae after calculating the absolute-values to make the correlations positive and yielded more reasonable results (i.e., reliabilities <= 1.0).
Thank you again for your wonderful tools.
Good to hear that you were able to resolve the problem yourself.
Glad you like the tools.
My instrument is 30 question for multiple choice quesion and each scoring for right answer is one Mark and incorrect answer is zero mark can I use split half method and how
Yes, you can certainly use the split-half method. Just mark each question as 0 or 1, as you described and use the approach described on the referenced webpage.
If I have 15 question of likert scales, can I use the split half method in excel
Yes. This is explained on the referenced webpage.
Shortly, I will add some new capabilities, but the current version of the webpage can still be used.
The first half will be the sum of the 7question and the second half will be the sum of the 8question
I am using your mentioned formula
and got the r =0.56
Can I say it have a moderate reliable result? Or I just got a low reliable result
Thanks for your promply replied.
Can you tell me how to use the split-half method in Excel? I don’t see an option for that method. I just need to know the steps to use the function in Excel.
Excel doesn’t have a function of data analysis tool to perform the split-half method.
The Real Statistics add-in to Excel provides the SPLITHALF function to perform this method. Alternatively, you can use the Reliability data analysis tool and choose the Cronbach’s Alpha option. This will generate two forms of the split-half method.
I am currently translating a questionanaire from english version to my native language.
the original English version was tested using the Guttman Split Half for its reliability.
Therefore for the translated version, do I have to use the same reliability test or can I use Cronbach’s alpha to test for its reliability?
You don’t have to use the same reliability test.
May I know what is the difference between Spearman and Guttman split half?
Thanks in advance
Thanks for your comment. It has prompted me to add more information about the the split-half methodology. This will include a description of Guttman’s split-half. This should appear within the next week.
Please i dont understand how the correlation coefficient came about… U only showed the formula and the answer. Please show the working let it guide me for my research paper
See Basic Concepts of the Correlation Coefficient.
In a questionnaire based study reliability of the instrument is essential. I have a study about knowledge of vaccine preventable disease among nursing students. Nursing students require to take certain vaccines to protect themselves from infection. we selected 8 such diseases. The questionnaire assessed
1. how many students can correctly identify the selected 8 diseases as vaccine preventable (ie. knowledge). we make a sum scale of knowledge 0 to 8 ( 1 for correct response and zero for incorrect
2. how many students has received advise to take vaccines and from which source
comprising of 13 questions :
A) 4 on socio-demographic data (age, gender, monthly income, level of study ), they cannot be given 1 or zero score for response.
B) 8 closed ended questions (yes /no) about identification of 8 diseases – they can be scored 1 for yes and zero for no
c) 1 close ended questions on source of advise to take vaccine ( paper / internet/ friend) . the responses can not be numbered like previous yes/no close ended question
my question is can i use half spilt theory to evaluate reliability of this questionnaire?
i cannot give score for every answers made in sociodemographic section (ie they cannot be scaled)
similar thing is applicable to source of advise section. frequency of different sources can be estimated but they cannot be scaled like knowledge score.
its only the knowledge scale part which can be put under test by HS method.
My question is in this type questionnaire does reliability depends only on the scaled measures (e.g knowledge scale) and not on unscalable measures (e.g. demographic data, source of knowledge)
It is unlikely that you will accomplish anything by performing reliability testing on demographic questions. You could use split-half or Cronbach’s alpha on knowledge questions.
Thank you for your software. I can not get the split-half methodology to work for me. I’m unclear if I’m suppose to use one of the functions and type in =SPLIT_HALF(numbers). I cannot find split half on any of the functions. Could you please help me with this. Thank you.
I figured it out. Thanks anyways!
how did you do it?
My instrument is a 20 questions, made up 10 multiple choice questions A- D and 10 essay questions. Both the multiple choice and essay questions equal scoring pattern. Can use split half method to determine the reliabiity? And how
How will you score the essay questions? Do you give partial credit?
Are the multiple choice questions testing someone’s knowledge or are they to gain demographic information (e.g. level of education, etc.)?
I have a utilization of health services questionnaire. It has 42 questions. some questions have multiple right answers , then how do i do the scoring for split half reliability test?
You can score each question by 1 for a correct answer and 0 for an incorrect answer.
I have a 98-item multiple choice test that I want to pilot test. However, the school just gave an hour for the testing. Is it ok if I split the test into two and give half to one class and the other half to another class? If this can be done, how do I compute for the reliability of the entire test/instrument. Thanks.
The problem with this approach is that you may be testing the difference between the two classes rather than the internal consistency.
Pls, can i use split half methodology on multiple choice questionnaire, if yes how will i group them.
You can use the split-half method for multiple choice questions. Use the coding 1 for the correct response and 0 for an incorrect response. You can split odd numbered questions versus even numbered questions.
thanks for the info.
what are the steps in computing coefficient of split-half reliability ?
I believe that these are stated in the referenced webpage. Please explain what you mean.
if split half reliablity coefficient is 0.67 then is it reliable?
This is a judgement call. Some would say that the value needs to be at least .7. There isn’t universal agreement about what is an acceptable value.
I am doing a research on the feasibility of opening a child care centre. My survey questionnaire include 10 questions on parents preference in choosing a child care centre. Some are ‘yes’ ‘no’ questions and the rest with maximum options. Can you please advice me whether I can test the reliability of the questionnaire and if yes, how?
I’m sorry, but what are questions with “maximum options”?
I have a question what happen if i split my questionnaires into even number only? Like for example if may questionnaire i put in number 2 and the other question is in number 6.However there is the same question.
Sorry, but I don’t know if I really understand your question.
It doesn’t matter how you number your questions. If you look at the questions in order there are even numbered questions and odd numbered questions. If you are repeating the identical question, it would be good to put the two versions in different split halves, although the distance between the questions in the questionnaire is probably relevant.
Thank you for this. 2 questions: First, why aren’t there any p-values associated with this test? Second, can I use this test for consistency among 3 items? SPSS will run the test but one of the halves only has a single item.
1. This is not a test and so there is no p-value. The output is a measurement (i.e. a statistic).
2. You can use the split-half method with an odd number of items (including 3). The number of odd items will be one more than the number of even items; this doesn’t really make any difference.
After conducting Splitt half test, which value is to be considered in analysis, either correlation between forms or spearman browns coefficient or gutmann-split half coefficient?
I use spearman browns coefficient, but some prefer gutmann-split half coefficient.
I have question. I would like to compute the split half reliability test by odd and even. However, my instrument has 33 items and one half will be larger than the other, it does not affect the result?
It should not affect the result.
Great work Charles. Please help me with the appropriate design for this project topic “the influence of locality on life satisfaction”.
Sorry, but you haven’t provided enough information for me to answer your question.
Sorry for the in incomplete statement above “The influence of locality on life satisfaction” is intended to study if locality really influences the degree to which one is satisfied with life. The research is to be conducted using survey method in the urban and rural areas. Not more than 30 participants will be used. But my main problem is the appropriate design and statistics to be used.
There are a myriad of possibilities for the design and statistics to be used. E.g.if you simply want to determine people in urban areas are more or less satisfied with their life, you could create a questionnaire which measures life satisfaction (or use a pre-existing questionnaire) and give it to 15 people in the city and 15 people in the countryside. You could then use a 2 sample t test to determine whether there is a statistical difference between the mean response from the two groups.
good day sir, i need your help on split half reliability, how can i divide the scores to get my even and odd numbers?
If the number of items is not very large, you can simply copy and paste. If the number is large you will need to be a bit more create in using Excel. In any case, the Real Statistics Reliability data analysis tool can do all this work for you.
Please sir , which instrumentation can i use use 25 questions questionnaire of 4 likers scale distribute to 120 people thanks
I don’t completely understand your question, but it is likely that the answer is Cronbach’s Alpha, although the Split Half method can be used as well.
I will like to know the conditions that calls for the use of split-half with likert-scale or ordinal data.
I don’t know of any conditions, except that we are assuming that the distances between adjacent items in the scale are equal; i.e. if you are using 5 scale Likert (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), that the distance between 2 and 1 is the same as the distance between 4 and 3, etc.
Thanks for your reaction.
I designed a questionnaire with 10 statement (5 point Likert) for measuring entrepreneurial behaviour. Can I use the split-half for calculate reliability in this questionnaire?
Thank you very much.
Dear Dr. Charles
Can I use split-Split-Half for 5 point Likert or ordinal scale?
Yes, you can use split-half with likert-scaled or ordinal data.
Many thanks Charles for a fabulous explanation!
Once we have calculated our split-half (and in my case applied the Spearman-Brown Prophecy correction), how do you suggest we interpret the findings?
Is there a universally agreed set of categories for high/mod/low correlation for the split-half? such as those put forward by Landis & Kotch (1977) for agreement analyses.
many thanks for your help,
From what I can see from the literature, there isn’t universal agreement even about the interpretation of Landis & Kotch (1977). The best I can say is to use the guidelines for Cronbach’s alpha (see Cronbach’s Alpha), but again caution is advised since there isn’t universal agreement about these guidelines.
I wonder if the Split-Half Methodology applies on school exams (Multiple choice assessments) to test its reliability
Yes, you can use the split-half method (or Cronbach’s alpha) in this case. Remember to code the answer as 1 = correct answer and 0 = incorrect answer.
hi,I am doing an exam tomorrow, but I am
trying to understand the split half method but I’m not getting it,after splitting into half’s how do you find your correlation coefficient, help me please
You just calculate the correlation coefficient between the two halves. In Excel this is done using the CORREL function.
Does the coefficient found give any information about the validity of the test?
No. Just reliability.
I want to do split-half method to test the internal consistency reliability of a new questionnaire, which contains 6 domains, and each domain include different questions; for example, one domain includes 1 question while other domain includes 10 questions. So may question is which is better, getting the average for each domain then doing split-half reliability for these 6 domains as 6 questions or splitting the questionnaire according to the actual questions (in this case how can deal with if the one domian contains more than questions and one of them has sub- divisions, i.e., 2a, 2b,23……
I suggest that you calculate a separate split-half (or Cronbach’s alpha) measure for the questions that relate to each of the domains. This approach won’t be very useful for the domain that only has one question.
Is the split test still applicable to a test it lacks precision and the questions do not coincide with each other?
Rona, sorry but I understand your question.
Half of my items should be reverse-scored before doing the analysis. Does your set of macros allow for reverse-scoring multiple items?
No, you will need to do that manually.
Thanks for your reaction. I have a different question. Whenever I use one of your Reliability Procedures I get an error saying:
Cutoff must be a number between 0 and .5
It has a standard value of “0.27”. Only when I change the point into a comma I get things to work. Is this an issue with my version of Excel, or a more general problem?
PS I am using your functions for didactic purposes in a methodology course
For some languages comma is used for the decimal symbol, while others use the period. Everything works fine in either case, except when I provide a decimal such as 0.27 as a default. I have tried to fix this problem many times, but I still haven’t come up with the right solution. Fortunately the workaround is simple, namely you just need to re-enter the value, as you have done.
Sir, doing a comparative study between two groups using the same tool. Want to calculate reliability. I plan to use split half method. My question is… Should I split the tool into two for each group or can I use the two different groups as two halves for the same tool?
I would need more information to give a definitive answer, but most likely you need to make two separate tests, one for each group.
In one dimension I have only 3 items. Should I calcualte split-half coef. or are 3 items not enough? Well, SPSS does calculate it, but I’m note sure if it makes any sense to calculate it…
Thank you very much!
You certainly can calculate it, but I would guess that confidence interval for answer is quite wide, probably making the result not very useful.
I am testing (as a uni assignment) the reliability of PRT Scale (questionnaire) and I don’t quite understand what requirements does your data need to meet before you can run a split-half. The scale originally had 25 questions (items) but we excluded one due to not meeting the .7 Cronbach’s Alpha value. I should perhaps mention that the questionnaire is in 3 different subscales with less than 10 items in each. Hope this makes sense.
I can’t think of any assumptions for using the split half reliability, except to make sure that the questions are split in some way (e.g. odd-even) which doesn’t bias the result.
Also the questions need to test the same concept; otherwise you need to run separate split-half analyses for each concept (i.e. for the questions that relate to each concept). If the subscales that you refer to are for different concepts, then you will need to run three different split-half analyses.
One last point. The number of questions being measured also has an impact on the reliability score. See, for example, the website http://blog.questionmark.com/how-many-questions-do-i-need-on-my-assessment.
Very interested and helpful text. Thanks alot
Hello dear Charles,
I have constructed a tool to be used in my Ph.D project, but as am new in the statistical field so am confused and need help. I was hoping if you could help me out with the methods and calculations! I,m not sure if i am doing mine correctly! I appreciate if you don,t mind to guide me.
Please let me know what sort of help and guidance you are looking for.
I have an exercise: an algebra test was given to 20 students and for the ten items of the test the answers are 1 or 0. A split-half procedure was conducted. Will I use Spearman-Brown as an alternate method for estimating reliability or KR20 (because it is a dichotomous test)?
You can use either the split half method (with Spearman-Brown) or KR20 to test for reliability. As you said, you can use KR20 since the data is dichotomous. Also since the data is dichotomous, KR20 is equivalent to Cronbach’s alpha.
what is the significant level of spearman Brown, at what point can i say that the test is reliable or unreliable
There is no universally accepted answer to this question, although you will most commonly see that a value of .7 or higher is acceptable, although sometimes you will see that .6 or higher is acceptable.
Pls i want to know the appropriate ways of reporting different reliability analysis, eg split half, cronbach, f text, etc, and wen my result is significant
If your result is clearly high enough (see my answer to your other comment), you can say the following
The XYZ questionnaire has a high level of internal consistency based on a Cronbach’s alpha of .85.
If the value is low, say .40, then say it has a “low” or “unacceptable level …” With a value such as .65, then I would probably say something like
The XYZ questionnaire has internal consistency based on Cronbach’s alpha of .65.
With Cronbach’s alpha, I would also report on what the value is when each of the questions are removed
… when question #7 is removed then Cronbach’s alpha increases to .75, which is the greatest increase in Cronbach’s alpha based on the removal of one question.
sir, is focus group discussion and in depth interview a rich instrument for data collection on rural farmers information needs and seeking behaviour towards climate change adaptation. thank
Probably, but I am not an expert on rural farmers.
Hi, what is the minimum number of respondents require for checking the reliability in split-half method
The following is an article that might be helpful to you.
In general, you need a sample size sufficiently large so that the confidence interval is sufficiently small that the answer from the test is meaningful. I have explored this issue for Cronbach’s alpha, as shown on the following webpage:
For my thesis I have section two sections, first is multiple choice questionnaire and second is 5 point likert scale. Can I use split half for Mcq and crohnbach alpha for likert scale? Is it right?
I’m totally new to the field of statistics and still puzzled….
In my data sample Spearman Brown prophecy = 0.35, and KR20=0.735.
KR20 indicates good reliability, the value for SB is rather low. What does it mean? Why are the values so different?
Jen, I would have to see the data. You can send me an Excel file with your data (see Contact Us for my email address).
Tnks so much for this…my question is ,how do I go about testing for my 31 question questionnaire’s reliability , do I go ahead and administer to my sample of 110 or do I first administer them to some members. Answer asap please.
Either is possible. Sometimes you administer the test to a smaller sample to check whether the reliability is good. In this way you can change the questionnaire before giving it to the full sample.
I was hoping you could help me with my calculations! Im not sure if im doing mine 100% correctly! ;-( Do you have an email address?
You can find the email address at Contact Us.
There are many ways to determine reliability as internal consistency, repeat test, split-half,….. .
Do the reliability coefficient are the same with all?
No, the tests can generate different results. See Figure 8 of the webpage Cronbach’s Alpha
after splitting the items into 2. can we use pearson r to get d correlation coefficient before stepping it up with spearman brown correction formula? thank u.
Please explain what you mean by “d correlation coefficient”.
hi, i have the problem on finding the spearman brown when the correlation coefficient is negative number
If your correlation coefficient is negative, then you already know that reliability is very low and so you really don’t need to bother with spearman brown.
Using spearman brown without any sort of correction will result in a correlation less than -1, which is not very desirable. I would guess that the correct calculation is to apply spearman brown to the absolute value of the correlation coefficient and then negate the result, but I have not seen this done before.
I am analyzing data from subjective scoresheets (10 questions regarding performance and scoring against performance). I am feeling that the questions are subjective and being scored differently by different scorers. How can I measure the reliability. I used Spearman Brown (.065)& Pearsons (.12) but am questioning this. Please assist
Please describe the scoring used in a little more detail. Are people rating some characteristics using a Likert scale (say 1 to 5) or is this a typical multiple choice question test or something else?
I would like assess the reliability of a questionnaire in an experimental study. I have done pre and post test among 15 samples as my main study will be 150. How do I calculate reliability?
The usual approach is to use Cronbach’s Alpha. Although this measurement has a number of flaws, it is the commonly used measurement.
Thank You! 🙂 big help. I have 2 questions though. What if the correlation coefficient’s equation was (0/0), is that considered to be 0.00 for that matter? What is the interpretation of a 0.00 for correlation coefficient and spearman-brown correction? Thank You!
A correlation coefficient of zero means there is no correlation, which in this case indicates very poor reliability. Spearman-Brown is undefined (can’t divide by zero), but there is no need to calculate it since the zero value tells you all you need to know.
Do I need to test the reliability of a likert-type 5 point scale with the data from a pilot study before applying the instrument for the final study? I am new in statistics please answer.
You don’t have to do this, but it is commonly done.
If I use without testing the reliability of the instrument and it is discovered during analysis that the instrument was not reliable then I have to do the research again. That is my understanding, I might be wrong. That why is it not right to check the reliability of the instrument through a pilot study?
I am expecting your clarification of the matter so that, I can get a clear idea.
It is best to find out if there are problems early (e.g. with a pilot with say 30 subjects) rather than for the full experiment (e.g. after you have given the questionnaire to say 2,000 people). If reliability is a problem you can fix the questionnaire and then repeat the pilot. If you only check reliability after giving the questionnaire to 2,000 people you will need to repeat the questionnaire with all 2,000 people if you find there is a problem.
Thanks lot sir for your clear answer!!
Thank you. The information is extremely helpful. Can I use the split half methodology with a test that has two sections – Multiple Choice and Essay? Can I, instead of using odd vs even , use multiple choice vs essay?
The idea of the Split-Half Method is to make a random split of the test items. Odd/even is just one way to do this. However, multiple choice vs essay may not be a random split, and so I would be a bit cautious of using such a split.
I’ve been searching for some one who could explain Cronbach’s alpha and Spearman-Brown split-half. You have done a wonderful job. Thanks a million. I have a doubt though. Plz do forgive me if itz undiluted stupidity (I’m new to Statistics). Do they (Cronbach’s alpha and Spearman-Brown split-half) test both reliability and validity or just one and not the other? I’ve seen a study where the researcher used Spearman-Brown split-half to test reliability and Cronbach’s alpha for validity. Hence the question.
Thank you Sir. How then can we measure validity?
Most of the tests that you find in this website can be viewed as tests for validity. The actual test used depends on what you are trying to determine.
Thanks a lot. It’s a very nice presentation for the researcher. May Allah bless u. You may present all of the methods of reliability and validity test with formula and indications for excel or SPSS. You may also present directions regarding test of hypotheses.
can we use split half for 15 item tool
Yes, but you need to leave one item out. Probably it is better to use Cronbach’s alpha.
I have another question…So if I am giving my survey to 430 students, do I need to conduct the split half test on a small number of the sample to see if its reliable before I give it to all of the students?
That is the usual approach. Note that you can use Cronbach’s Alpha instead of split half.
Great information! Is it possible to get a reliable score using the split half method with just a 10 questions survey?
Yes, you will get a reliable score for the split half method with just 10 questions. The real question is whether the 10 question survey is reliable (i.e. internally consistent). I don’t have a simple answer for this question. All I can say is that, in general, more questions increases reliability. However, if you add a question which is poorly worded, tricky and/or testing something different from the other questions, then reliability can decrease.
Thanks for the response. It’s a student survey for elementary students so I was worried that more questions would prompt false responses. Decisions….Decisions….
sir, is this a tool used for item analysis? the reliability of an item?
asap reply is much appreciated.
Please see the webpage Item Analysis for a description of the available item analysis capabilities.
I seem confused. So, this can’t be used to compute the reliability of the test items you’ve created? I meant the Item-Reliability Index in Item Analysis.
Pls help sir.
The Split-Half Methodology can be used as an item reliability index.
Thank u sir. I have been benifited. I m ever heart to u sir
Thank you very much for giving very much clear concept! i got the idea about split- half reliability.
CAN YOU HELP ME WITH THIS QUESTION PLZ?
COMPUTE RANK ORDER CO-ORELATION FOR THE FOLLOWING
R1 : 1, 8, 3, 7, 5, 10, 4, 6, 2, 9
R2 : 1, 8, 4, 7, 5, 9, 3, 6, 2, 10
If I understand your question correctly you are looking for what is called Spearman’s rho. See webpage http://www.real-statistics.com/correlation/spearmans-rank-correlation/ for details about how to calculate this.
Thanks for this clear and concise explanation. Can I use the rank order method to calculate the r ? Is it good enough to establish the reliability of a structured knowledge questionnaire?
I would guess that it depends on the motivation you have for using the rank order correlation (i.e. Spearman’s rho) instead of the Pearson’s r.
Consice and clear. It is a great help for me. Thank you very much.
Any thoughts how to calculate Spearmann-brown for Likert 5 point scale answers? How to split the answers?
Thank you very much
The calculation is exactly the same as described in the referenced page. You can split the questions by odd-even as described on the referenced webpage or first half of the questions vs. second half of the questions. It is important to decide on which approach to use in advance and not after you have seen the results (which are likely to be different); alternatively you can report on both approaches.
Hi, Thank you very much for a very helpful article. I have downloaded The Real Statistics Resource Pack to my Excel. However, it doesn`t have SPLIT_HALF function. Any suggestions?
Thanks and kind regards
You are correct. The Real Statistics Resource Pack does not contain a SPLIT_HALF function at present, but the referenced webpage does contain an example of how to calculate the split half method in Excel (namely Example 1). You can find the worksheet that carries out the calculations for Example 1 in the Examples Workbook. You can download the Example Workbook for free at http://www.real-statistics.com/free-download/real-statistics-examples-workbook/.
Thanks very much for your prompt answer. I have it now.
Big help, thank you!
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