The growing number of language tests available for higher education can be confusing. There is a proliferation of tests in the market and new tests seem to be appearing at a rapid pace. We hear many different questions from Admissions professionals around the world, from which sorts of English language tests give students the best preparation for studying abroad? to which security features should tests have?
To answer these questions and more, we have put together a free Guide to Navigating the English Language Testing Landscape. The guide is designed to help those working in International Admissions quickly and easily understand the English language testing landscape and select the right tests for their institution.
The testing landscape
The guide has been developed to help colleagues working in International Admissions to understand the entire English language testing landscape. Different qualifications are used around the world and it is only by accepting a range of tests that institutions can provide a fair opportunity to all students, wherever they may come from.
Here at Cambridge, we offer a range of different exams and tests for higher education to meet the varied needs of our students and stakeholders. Our range includes multi-level such as IELTS, and in-depth curriculum-based exams such as our Cambridge English Qualifications.
The important thing is that no matter what the format, institutions can rely on the same quality, accuracy and reliability – and candidate results that are easy for them to use and compare.
Selecting the right tests
Have you ever wondered what makes a good test for admissions? As part of a world-leading university and experts in English language assessment, we have unique insight into the key criteria behind successful assessments, admissions, engagement and retention.
In our new guide, these key criteria have been brought together into one easy-to-use checklist. Colleagues working in International Admissions can use this checklist to evaluate any English language qualification and fast-track their decision-making process.
The checklist starts by considering the key questions in International Admissions. For example, What should the test cover to ensure students have the right skills for academic study? What industry standard security protocols should the test have? Is the test provider reliable? The checklist then provides specific and measurable ways to check English language tests against these key questions.
Surprising tips and trends
The guide also provides an insight into the latest trends in the English language testing market. In particular, we have recently been seeing a surge of requests for more information about remote-proctored testing and whether this will be a lasting trend.
But the reality is rather different. Even in our latest research in 2021, a large majority of students still say they prefer paper-based exams. Amongst 16-19 year olds, just 25% state a preference for computer-based exams, compared to 68% who prefer paper-based exams.
This once again underlines the key point that there really aren’t any one-size-fits-all options. Only by accepting a range of different English language tests, that have both computer-based and paper-based formats, is it possible to provide the fairest opportunity for all students.
Download your free guide
Cambridge English, Future of Assessment Think Tank. Over 1,200 stakeholders in 92 countries participated in the research between November 2020 and February 2021.