'Health checks' are periodically conducted on our exams to make sure they remain relevant to both learner needs and new approaches to assessment and learning. In Consultation with English language teaching professionals to inform revisions to A2 Key and B1 Preliminary and their variants for schools, Debbie Howden and Angela Wright tell us about the market research employed to gather stakeholder feedback on these exams.
The authors surveyed a range of stakeholders, including over 500 teachers preparing learners for A2 Key or B1 Preliminary, and found both a high level of overall satisfaction and suggestions for improvement. For example, one of the areas under review was exam length, and as a result of consultation, the combined Reading and Writing paper for B1 Preliminary/B1 Preliminary for Schools was divided into two separate papers. The format of the reading and writing paper for A2 Key/A2 Key for Schools was also revised and the number of questions reduced. Other areas reviewed were test content and task types. A major change, based on a teacher survey, was made to test scores, which will no longer be reported as Pass with Merit or Distinction, but now as grades A/B/C, in line with higher levels of Cambridge English Qualifications.
To know more about the results of the stakeholder survey and other changes made to A2 Key and B1 Preliminary and their variants for schools, read our full report.