Рефераты. Types of tests used in English Language Teaching Bachelor Paper

assessed as an additional element and contribute to the students’ marks.

Definitely, each teacher will develop and give the students various tasks

regarding the criteria and demands to be tested.

In conclusion we can say that the teacher can use a variety of test

formats, such as multiple-choice questions, transfer of information;

reordering the words, describe a picture, listening to the instructions to

check the language skills of his/her students. Every teacher has to choose

him/herself the tasks that will be appropriate to their way of teaching and

the needs of the students.

Below we have attached the table of four language skills and test

formats applicable for each skill.

| | |

|Language Skills |Test Formats |

| | |

|Reading skills |1 Multiple-choice items |

| |Short answers test |

| |Cloze test |

| |Gap-filling test |

| |False/true statement |

| | |

|Listening skills |Multiple-choice items |

| |False/true statements |

| |Gap-filling tests |

| |Dictations |

| |Listening recall |

| | |

|Writing skills |Dictations |

| |Compositions |

| |Reproductions |

| |Writing stories |

| |Writing diaries |

| |Filling-in forms |

| |Word formation |

| |Sentence transformation |

| | |

|Speaking skills |Retelling stories |

| |Describing pictures |

| |Describing people |

| |Spotting the differences |

Chapter 6

Analysis of the Test of English as a Foreign Language and Cambridge First

Certificate test according to test design criteria.

The present chapter deals with the practical part of the research. It

will be based on the analysis and comparison of two proficiency tests

formats TOEFL (The Test of English as a Foreign Language) test and CFC

(Cambridge First Certificate) test. We will start with the brief

description of their overall features; afterwards we will make an attempt

to contrast them and draw relevant conclusions.

The first test to be discussed is Cambridge First Certificate test. It

will usually consist of five papers: reading with the duration time 1 hour

and 15 minutes, writing -1 hour 30 minutes, use of English -1 hour 15

minutes, listening - 40 minutes and speaking approximately 14 minutes.

There is no absolute pass mark, but the candidates need to get about 60% of

the total marks to pass with a Grade C (Prodromou, 1998:6-7).

TOEFL test is an examination that intends to evaluate the level of the

English language of a foreign speaker (Gear, 1996:3-4). Moreover, it is

commonly one of the aspects included into the entrance exams of any

university in the USA. The institution the person requires the test for

could implement the demanded score here. Nevertheless, the highest score

does not differ from that of the CFC. TOEFL test as CFC test consists of

four different parts: listening comprehension that occupies approximately

35 minutes and consists of three parts, structure and written expression

with time limit 25 minutes composed of two tasks and reading comprehension

– 55 minutes, consisting of several passages.

Here we can notice some differences between CFC and TOEFL tests: when

TOEFL test consists of just four parts, CFC includes a speaking part more.

Moreover, each part of each test will include a various range of tasks,

i.e. each part TOEFL test will mainly be composed of two tasks, whereas

CFC will classically contain four different activities.

Doing the tests in both cases the students will get special answers

sheets where they will have to mark the answers they think are the right

ones. The instructions before the taking the test usually warn the

participants not to write in the books with questions. Moreover, both tests

are checked by the scoring machine, therefore the students should be aware

of what type of marking the answers they have to use. In both cases it

should be a black lead pencil for the scoring machine to read. The answers

should not be circled or lightly marked; in TOEFL test the students are

supposed to fill in an oval answer with a letter inside corresponding to

the question, whereas in CFC the students will have to fill in a small

rectangular under a certain letter. Together the two tests remind the

participants to choose only one answer. If the student changes his/her mind

and decides to choose another answer, s/he can easily rub out the previous


We can call the both tests valid, for they test what is supposed to be

tested and measured and they usually have the same format and length;

regarding reliability, we cannot say exactly whether there is reliability

or not, for if the student was not lucky for the first time taking the

test, s/he can study hard and take the test again for the second time and,

thus, score a better result.

Both of the tests involve the four skills: reading, listening, speaking

and writing. The difference could be found in the sequence of them, for

example if CFC test will start with reading first, TOEFL test will deal

with listening. The types of tasks and activities implied in the test

differ as well. We will start our analysis with reading part.

Reading Comprehension Part

CFC reading paper will test the students’ ability to read in a variety of

ways: reading for gist (understanding of the text), reading for details,

understanding how a text is organized and deducing the meaning from the

context. (Typically, the students could be given four parts to fill)

(Prodromou, 1998:8). For that purpose CFC reading paper will offer the

students multiple matching. The students will have to match headings or

summary sentences to the parts of the text. They will have to show their

ability to grasp the overall meaning of the text involving various kinds of

knowledge such as morphological, semantic and syntactical one. For example:

Meet the Flinstones, a modern Stone Age family. From the town of Bedrock,

here’s a bit about their history….

1. Somewhere in the world, every hour of every day, The Flinstones is being

broadcast. An incredible 300 million fans tune in to watch it regularly.

Whether you like them or not, Fred, Wilma and their neighbours are

impossible to avoid….

A) Rocky jokes B) A Stone Age family in skins C) A new idea D) A

popular show, etc.

Prodromou, First Certificate Star,


Thus, basing on the theory we have discussed in the first part of our

paper, we can claim that it is integrative type of test, though being

direct, that denotes testing one particular skill directly, but not through

other language skills.

Afterwards, CFC may offer the students multiple choice, gapped texts and

again multiple matching only connected with information. In multiple-choice

activity the students will have to answer four-option multiple-choice

questions about a text. For example:

Mad Cow Disease is a deadly illness of the brain and it is the non-

technical term for BSE or Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis. This so difficult

to say that journalists and even some doctors prefer the more vivid Mad Cow


1. We use the expression Mad Cow Disease because

A) it is more accurate.

B) It is easier to say.

C) It links cows with people.

D) It sounds less scientific.

Prodromou, First Certificate Star,


It is obvious that only one answer will be the right one, but the others

will be distractors that will try to confuse the reader. It will limit the

students and make them use a variety of reading strategies, knowledge of

vocabulary and syntaxes to discover the right variant. However, the

students will not have an opportunity to support their choices and prove

why the answer they have chosen is the exact one. Moreover, the students

will be checked whether they understand the general meaning of the text,

its details, whether they can infer the meaning from the text and

understand references (who refers who). Thus, we can declare that this type

of test is integrative, for it involves the students’ abilities to apply

various reading strategies and still direct, for it tests just reading


The same could be said about gapped texts that will check the students’

knowledge of reading strategies, such as organization of the text, reading

for gist, etc. (examples available in Appendix p.17) To complete it the

students will have to show their knowledge of the certain areas of the

language. Multiple matching will require the students to match pieces of

information either with a certain text divided into fragments or with

several texts joined together with one topic (examples available in

Appendix p.8).

CFC will display various types of texts in order to see how well the

students can cope with any authentic material when dealing with reading.

They will have to show their capability of dealing with advertisements,

letters, stories, travelling brochures, guides, manuals, and magazine and

newspaper articles. The type of test applicable here will be integrative,

including a variety of strategies and direct checking the students reading


TOEFL test’s reading part usually involves the students’ general

comprehension of a text. It is regularly a text followed by a number of

questions about it typically in the form of multiple choice items format.

However, this part of the test requires the students to show their skills

in reading for gist, the students have to define the main idea of a text;

afterwards, the students will have to display their knowledge of the

vocabulary, especially synonyms, ability to infer the meaning, define the

words and apply their skills connected with working with references, i.e.:

….The biggest disadvantage was that the sound and pictures could become

unsynchronised if, for example, the gramophone needle jumped or if the

speed of the projector changed. This system was only effective for a single

song or dialogue sequence…..

47. The word “sequence” in line 14 is closest in meaning to

A) interpretation

B) progression

C) distribution

D) organization

Gear, Cambridge preparation for the TOEFL test, 1996

The students will be offered to read several passages, usually

historical, scientific, medical, etc. facts. They will intend to check the

students’ ability to understand specific types of tests taken from specific

fields, the skill required at the universities, whereas CFC will offer the

students the texts they can encounter in their everyday life being abroad.

Each text will be typically accompanied with seven questions.

TOEFL test will chiefly use multiple-choice items; there will be no gap

filling or matching implied. Thus, we can call a reading part of TOEFL test

as a direct, for it tests the students reading skills, and more discrete

point tests than integrative, for it is mainly concerned with checking the

students’ knowledge of vocabulary (examples available in Appendix p.391-


The above mentioned could be stated as the first difference: TOEFL test

is a discreet point test, while CFC is integrative one.

Another difference between CFC and TOEFL reading part could be a variety

of tasks given to test the students’ reading skills. CFC will mostly offer

a great range of tasks (headings, summary, fragmented texts) and texts

types, while TOEFL will not vary a lot.

Listening Part

The listening part of CFC test aims to test the students’ ability to

listen and understand the gist, the main points, and specific information

is to deduce meaning. TOEFL test will check whether the students are able

to understand conversations and talks in English.

CFC test will offer the students a variety of activities in order to

check whether the students can imply effective listening strategies to

comprehend the message. It suggests the idea of the test being integrative,

for it will focus on different means that could be used to deal with a

listening task. For example, CFC offers multiple choices as a task

(examples available in Appendix p.37): the students listen to several short

extracts that are taken from different contexts. They could be dialogues or

monologues as well. The answer sheet will display the three answer items

from which the students will have to choose the correct one. The task could

ask the students to guess who the speaker is, where the action takes place,

what the conversation is about and even it can include the question about

the feelings and emotions of speakers that could be guessed from the


Afterwards, there will be another task – note taking or blank filling

that will check the student’s ability to listen for gist and for details.

This type will demand the student’s capability to use his/her writing

skills to put down information they will hear. They will have to be able to

pick up the necessary information and retain it in their memory in order to

fulfil the task (examples available in Appendix p.87).

Subsequently, a further task could engage multiple matching where the

students will have to concentrate on a particular kind of information. This

task could be displayed in the form of a dialogue or a monologue. The

students will be given several answers with letters that should be inserted

into the right box. However, there will always be one option that does not

suit any question, the so-called distractor. Moreover, asking the students

to complete a grid, i.e. advantages and disadvantages of anything, could

expand the task, i.e. advantages and disadvantages of keeping a certain


| |Advantages |Disadvantages |

|dog | | |

|cat | | |

|fish | | |

Prodromou, First Certificate Star,


Moreover, the listening task could involve True/false activities where

the students will have to listen to a dialogue or a monologue and react to

it (examples available in Appendix). The students will have to display how

well they have comprehended the message ticking the statements whether they

are true or false. In spite of that, Yes/No questions could take place. We

have been discussing them already in our theoretical part and mentioned

that the so-called open-ended questions allow the students support their

answers. Answering them, the students are having a chance to prove why they

have chosen a certain answer, but not the other. Usually, if the students

are aware of such a possibility, they fill more secure and motivated, for

they can be certain that the examiner will be able to realize the students’

point. However, it is not a very appropriate type for such a test as CFC,

for checking such tests will be rather time-consuming.

Listening part of the TOEFL test differs a lot from that of CFC, for it

is fully based on the multiple-choice items that focus mainly on the

understanding of the main idea of a message (examples available in Appendix

p.379-384) The participants are exposed to a set of short dialogues that

are accompanied with four answers, where three are usually distractors and

the rest one is correct, i.e.:

(man) I think, I’ll have the curtains changed.

(woman) They are a bit worn.

(narrator) What does the woman mean?

A) She thinks every bit of change is important.

B) She wants to wear them.

C) She thinks they’ve been worn enough.

D) She thinks they’re in bad condition.

Gear, Cambridge preparation for the TOEFL test,


The test implies the idea that to do it the students have to use a

variety of listening strategies, but it is not directly aimed at it.

Whereas, the listening part of CFC test is structured so that the students

would be able to display their listening skills and strategies, that are so

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