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Research and Consultancy
Exams and tests
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Cambridge can help you evaluate and measure the efficacy of your English language education system by testing the language skills of your learners, and by collecting information on the factors within and outside of your organisation that affect learner performance. The resulting data can be used to support the development of an evidence-based strategy for improving the current standard of language learning.
In school contexts, the same approach can be extended to include testing the language skills and teaching knowledge of your teachers.
We provide a modern, cost-effective and efficient online service. We offer benchmarking for various cohort sizes and age ranges (11 to adult).
The benchmarking services include the following elements:
Cambridge Benchmarking tests are multi-level, computer-delivered tests designed to provide benchmarking results at cohort level. The bespoke Cambridge Benchmarking testing package comprises online tests in reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills.
The reading and listening tests are adaptive and automarked. Writing is automarked using Cambridge AI and machine learning technologies. Speaking is computer-delivered and examiner-marked.
The reported results are aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and to the Cambridge English Scale (CES). For 11-13 year olds, the tests will report from Below A1 to B2 or above. From 14 years old upwards, the tests will report from Below A1 to C1 or above.
In relatively small projects, all candidates within an educational system or organisation can be tested. Or, you can select a sample within your larger population. Alternatively, for larger national or regional projects, we can provide the expertise to utilise sampling approaches used in large-scale education surveys, such as PISA.
For your Benchmarking project, we can provide you with the research questions that will help evaluate your educational system. Cambridge has a bank of research questions which can be reported on and, in consultation with you, we can tailor these questions depending on the purpose of the study.
Some typical research questions are as follows:
The deliverable from our Benchmarking service is a profile of language competence for your cohort according to the agreed research questions, with language proficiency mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
The output can range from a simple reporting of cohort-level results to a report including recommendations on how to improve teaching and learning of English, to a full-scale educational reform package, measuring the progress of any reforms over time.
Online questionnaires for learners, and teachers as appropriate, can be provided in order to collect information on the factors within and outside of the learning context that affect learner performance.
The steps in a typical benchmarking are as follows with, for smaller projects, the end-to-end process being completed in 2-3 months.
Cambridge has provided Benchmarking services to customers around the world, working with schools, educational establishments, and national ministries. Details of individual case studies can be found in the document English language transformation services: Case studies.
The Cambridge Benchmarking team is also working with the OECD to supply the test design and content for the first iteration of the global PISA Foreign Language Assessment.
*please note that as the Reading and Listening tests are adaptive, candidates might finish these tests at different times.
Listening test sample
Reading test sample
Writing test sample
Speaking test sample
Listening test information
Reading test information
Writing test information
Speaking test information
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