Available Tests for Assessment

<b> Forum for the discussion of assessment and testing of ESL/EFL students </b>

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Available Tests for Assessment

Post by jesl » Fri May 02, 2008 5:11 am

Hi all,

I am wondering if there is an assessment test already out there that someone has done. I've gone though these forums and have not found anything pratical at all, most of the threads have absouletely no links in them, only people giving advice on what questions they should ask. To me, that is not standard and it is very objective. I am looking for something more solid that can be used long term.

I had tried for many years now to develop my own exam, however, what I run into is it being objective enough to really evaluate how well my students are performing.

Mostly I want to evaluate their speaking and listening levels. However if there is a test out there that will cover all areas I would be very interested.

What I am thinking is something where the questions change per each exam you give to the same student, but if they change too much the test is too objective. If the questions are the same, the students will remember them, so it is also not an accurate way of testing.

I'm kind of running into a stumbling block here, have been looking online, in the forums, and I am not finding anything. What are people using to really evaluate their students?

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Some possibilites

Post by harmony » Fri May 16, 2008 10:50 am

Hi there:

For the most part, people who create assessments, do so according to the contexts and needs of their program and it is typically not the case that an assessment designed for one context, fits nicely into a curriculum for another. This is because any assessment used for placement, or entry into new levels, or exit from the program in the case of uiversity prep is intimately tied to the curriculum and each curriculum has its own emphasis and methodology.

In terms of creating equivalent tests, using readability specifications and basing your exam questions on objectives is one way of attempting this that can be moderately successful. The most avanced and reliable way of equating test difficulties, however, is by using Rasch measurement in Winsteps or a similar program. ITEMAN is another progam that can provide one with useful test analysis data using Classical Test Theory, but it does not allow a means of accurate equating of tests. Below are two links that should get anyone who wants to learn more about testing started. J.D. Brown's page has a wealth of useful and practical information and links. The Institute of Objective Measurement site provides useful information and links about Rasch measurement -including chapters from a book on the subject for free.



Good luck

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Link to Sample ESL and subjest assesments

Post by shabudah » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:28 am

I found a sample on NYS website.

http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/osa/nyseslat/ ... 7/home.htm

I will check for similar ones on other states' websites!

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conversation assessment

Post by labonteesl » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:47 pm

I have an easy conversation assessment on my blog
Let me know if you have questions. Thanks Don

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Post by jooooooey » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:22 pm

This topic is a little old (some of the links no longer work, and others have way to much information), so I am going to revive it.

Does anyone know where I can find some good sample assessment tests and/or information on how to create them? I know that all tests are different, depending on the needs of the students and teacher, but some examples of tests that other teachers have used for their courses would be great. I am having trouble finding much. I am tutoring a single student, and while I feel fairly confident on testing his ability, I don't have much to work off of to create an all-encompassing test.

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Post by jooooooey » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:48 pm

Here is a practical link I found for a good "general" test, for those that are just starting this assessment stuff. Thought I'd share it:


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Re: conversation assessment

Post by longshikong » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:33 pm

labonteesl wrote:I have an easy conversation assessment on my blog
Let me know if you have questions. Thanks Don
Easy, perhaps, but also misleading! This certainly doesn't assess anyone's conversational skills nor even grammatical competence--they just have to follow your lead--do they even have to understand the question to get full marks? Furthermore, you misinform students by stating 'Yes, it is.' is an unacceptable response to 'Is it worth seeing?' suggesting native speakers use: 'Yes, it is worth seeing.' It's one thing to tell students that you expect complete sentence answers but it's another thing entirely to tell them this is normal. I don't get it, Don--if you wanted to assess someone's 'conversational' skills, why wouldn't you ask open-ended questions and provide an evaluation rubric?

I don't mean to pick on Don--he's definitely put thought and effort into it but as with many such tests, his assessment says more about his conception of what TEFL is than his students' conversation skills.

While at least Joooeeey's test seems pretty standardized, I wouldn't call it 'general' as it's even more restrictive in nature than Don's.

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Post by jooooooey » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:30 pm

I completely agree with longshikong. I tried using that assessment I posted several times, and while it can tell you some things by seeing where they make mistakes, it`s not all that emcompassing. For the reading it was okay, the grammar got really specific and didn´t leave much room for creativity. Some of my students who scored really low actually had a good level of English.

What I`ve been doing recently is talk to my students to get them to speak freely so I can assess their general speaking, give them a fill in the blank worksheet with tenses in context, and then have them write about their hobbies or something else that intrests them.

It`s not a good assessment but it`s better than nothing. Really, I couldn`t find much. Everyone has a lot to say about what`s wrong with the tests already posted, but no one has any good suggestions for a pre-made test or method. JD Brown´s page is good but is a little out of date. A lot of the links there (and here on ESLCafe) no longer work. Short of buying an assessment book for a specific textbook or taking a full-fleged course about assessing students, I don`t really know.

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Post by longshikong » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:05 am

Frankly, I'm as mystified as Joooooeeey, that on a site like this, no one's posted anything of substance regarding assessment--most queries have gone unanswered for years. It'd be the equivalent of doctors not knowing or even caring how to properly diagnose patients, just prescribing medicine. I don't get it! I've worked at different schools and I've yet to find a testing system that is satisfactory at best. I've often had to adapt or devise my own which is the stage where I'm at now--the placement test is nothing more than a barrage of questions pulled from existing coursebooks--it's more of an achievement than a diagnostic test.

Anyway, here's what I've found online regarding assessments:
ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines were created by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in order to provide a means of assessing the proficiency of a foreign language speaker.
CEFR - Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
Canadian Language Benchmarks There's actually a 60 minute self-assessment that your students can do for listening and reading on this site http://www.clb-osa.ca/home

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