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 Skills Areas Tested in the QPT

   Listening Tasks
   Reading Tasks
   Use of English / Grammar Tasks
   Assessment of Speaking and Writing Skills
   How speaking skills can be assessed
   How writing skills can be assessed

The computer-based QPT assesses students in:
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Use of English/Grammar
  • Suggestions are included here about how to assess Speaking and Writing Skills but for more detailed Speaking and Writing Assessment Materials please visit the Exams website.

Listening Tasks


Screenshot1. Listen and select
Students read a question and a number of possible answers. They then listen to a short text and choose the best answer.

Focus: General comprehension, gist, understanding reference.

Screenshot2. Listen and select (graphic)
Students listen to a short text and read a short question. They are presented with a number of graphics representing possible answers and they choose the one that they think best answers the question.

Focus: General comprehension, gist.

Reading Tasks 

1. Read and select
Students see a notice, diagram, label, memo or letter containing a short text. From a number of options, they choose the phrase that most closely matches the meaning of the text in the graphic.

Focus: Understanding of specific, everyday information.

Use of English / Grammar Tasks


1. Multiple choice
Students choose the best word or phrase to complete a sentence.

Focus: Lexis, collocation, grammatical rules, phrasal verbs, adverbial phrases, connectives, semantic sets.

2. Multiple-choice cloze
Students complete a gapped text by choosing the best word or phrase for each blank from a selection of words presented.

Focus: Lexis, collocation, lexico-grammatical structures.


Assessment of Speaking and Writing Skills

The QPT result is an important factor in helping a teacher decide which class to put students into. Teachers may also want additional information about a student's spoken or written language ability, depending on the objectives of a particular course. For example, if a class focuses on oral fluency and communication skills then assessment of speaking skills is probably needed, and courses with components of academic English or report writing skills will probably require an assessment of writing skills. General English courses may need both to get an overall picture of the student's proficiency. These kinds of assessments can be done in a number of ways.

How speaking skills can be assessed

Ways of assessing students' speaking skills are:

  • checking reports on past performance (for those students who are re-enrolling)
  • asking them to record a sample of their spoken language on cassette
  • giving them a simple self-assessment task
  • giving an individual interview with a member of staff, usually a teacher
  • carrying out an oral assessment in pairs or small groups

If self-assessment is used, learners must be able to understand the level descriptors used, for example, labels such as Beginner, Advanced, etc. For lower level learners, it might be preferable to give the task and the labels in their own language.

If direct oral testing is used, the teacher will need a quick way to generate appropriate samples of spoken language. Further suggestions are provided in the supporting material packaged with the test.

How writing skills can be assessed

Writing skills can take longer to assess than speaking, and if time is limited then it will be even more important for teachers to find ways of getting samples of written work quickly and efficiently. Evidence of writing skills can be:

  • provided by the students in advance of the start of the course.
  • provided on arrival as part of the overall placement process built around the QPT.

As with speaking tests, teachers will need a quick way to generate appropriate samples of writing to assess written language ability. Further suggestions are provided in the supporting material packaged with the test.
















































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Last modified: 04/04/08