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The United Kingdom is considered to be one of the world’s most popular country for pursuing higher education, with around approximately 500,000 international students enrolling per annum. To maintain balance between compliance and being competitive is tough at the best of times but with presence of information during COVID-19 outbreak. It is  essential to decide which English language tests will be appropriate to accept and has its large acceptability and validity. Many English language test for qualifications main impact on the students so as to live and study in UK. One should be aware of the basic question like is this an adequate test of academic English? Hair by adequate we mean that it should covered test security, question types. Besides we should all also be aware of whether it tests what it claims to test and it is fulfilling our purpose or not. All these factors are important in choosing the English test adequate for our requirements.

The marketing foreign English language test for use in this time has to you have the factors like, it should test reading, listening, speaking and writing. But how the test is feasible in testing them in a appropriate manner and in a better approach, should be known. International students should watch out for the test length like is it too short for too long. Also often there isn't any reading, listening or writing at length as required as a key skill at universities. besides just listening to a question doesn't mean listening comprehension is being tested so International students should know the entire process before choosing the best English test for them that will help them in future. Granted that, there is  no test is without its limitations but in order to rationalize the adequacy of any kind of English language test during the crisis of covid-19 outbreak, various tests are listed that have been most commonly proposed as an alternative as the test centres are mostly closed. 

Apart from assessing the four skills like reading, listening, speaking and writing. International students should also be aware of  about if a test has been designed for online remote delivery already like Language Cert and Duo lingo, or it  has been adapted for current pandemic crisis like password and  Pearson Versant.  These test does not make one better than the other per se, though if the home-delivery version of a test has been rushed and is not approved by trial adequately, the test security may be compromised or may be the test being appropriated for Corona Virus was not originally designed for such a high-stakes testing system. Besides International students must be aware that is it a test that is already accepted with a different delivery mode  like TOEFL, IELTS, LanguageCert or a new test system is added like TOEFL ITP, Pearson Versant, Duo lingo. Also, how is the English language support provisions for once students start? And Could these mitigate some of these risks? These questions needed to be known and also all These factors that  are needed in weighing up for each test and these will also vary for each institutions and Universities.

International students should be aware of the fact that If the expiry date is two years, will they accept an online-home test once test centers are opened again or expect them to take the test center version. These Policy should be very clear like on stating how long these tests are acceptable for and knowing its validity.  Any international students  who takes up IELTS Indicator or TOEFL IBT Home Edition, should be able to use them for at least next year rather than just pay for the same test in a different delivery mode. The acceptance of test score should be clearly known before taking up the test. 

Also depending upon the choice of Universities or institution's history of audits and how risk averse an institution is in adding these new tests  by means that considering IELTS and TOEFL IBT. It makes most sense, as these tests are commonly on every students list already. Though the delivery mode has changed but  still the security is as robust as it can be without it being face-to-face.  Also for international students, the LanguageCert test center version now has SELT status and it is the same test with a different delivery mode.  Thus, choosing  between these three options, the students have a global coverage and they only had to concede on the delivery mode that is an unavoidable choice during lockdown in time of pandemic. Various institution have agreed on not to add  any new tests  apart from these. If an international student is choosing  Duo lingo as a test then they should know the fact that it does not assess all four skills and even if that’s kept aside, in its latest version, it is not a robust assessment of Academic English and thus it is not fit for purpose for higher education in United Kingdom.

International students should be less inclined to consider tests if:

  • they have been quickly adapted for the purpose.

  • there are no (free) practice materials.

  • the test demands too much resource on the university’s side.

Therefore as a result, Pearson Versant as well ad Password will not be accepted for these kind of reasons. Though This is not just to discredit these  type of tests or the developers but it is about focusing on balancing and accepting  these tests, all of which are kind of same. Also these  tests cover many countries and valid there. It is like a risk-averse as students can be whilst in maintaining an assurance that the quality the test is not at all compromised in order to provide a easy way or quick fix during this pandemic scenario.

Thus International students should gather every knowledge related to all these English test and its acceptance by various Universities and accordingly choose between them.

Harleen Arora 3 years ago
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