Confidence-based testing or point spreading is a metacognitive exercise in which the learner is thinking about how confident they are in their answer and it gives them an opportunity to consider how strongly they agree with the answer.
The thought process is very different if the learner is thinking, "I remember this question from
the preparation material, but I am really not sure what is the correct answer. It is either A or B." So with the confidence-based testing, he/she can indicate that by spreading those points between choice A and B. This is different from the usual scenario, in which the learner is thinking, "I am confused between A and B, but let me go with answer choice A." The learner uses guessing as a technique to choose a single answer choice.
Confidence-based testing changes a learner’s thinking and adds another step in his/her thinking process. This, in turn, changes the conversation when the learner goes into the team readiness assurance test. Instead of democratically voting on answer choices, team members now reflect more deeply on their answer choices and get into a more nuanced discussion. Confidence-based testing, thus, makes a huge difference in how the learners approach the team readiness assurance test.
On the instructors' end, confidence-based testing allows the instructor to immediately notice students’ preparation level and trouble spots. This information can assist instructors to optimize their teaching by allowing them to zoom in on students’ and teams’ trouble spots.