New Internet-based TOEFL in India Begins April 2006
Allahabad, October, 10, 2005 – In April 2006 students will arrive at Thomson
Prometric testing centers and other educational institutions across India to take the first Internet-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL® iBT). Developed by ETS, TOEFL iBT reflects the academic English used in higher education and is the first large-scale English-proficiency assessment to be delivered over the Internet.
TOEFL iBT is the newest version of ETS’s English proficiency test designed to assess English-language skills in academic settings. The test is recognized by more than 5,200 colleges and universities worldwide, and is widely known as the leading academic English assessment.
The new test stresses integrated communications skills and communicative competence. ETS created such enhancements as a new speaking section at the request of educators and admissions officials who worked closely with ETS and Thomson Prometric to develop the new test. The changes are expected to have a great impact on how English is taught.
Since it was introduced in 1964, the TOEFL test has dramatically increased in stature among students and institutions worldwide. More than 17.5 million people have taken the TOEFL test, including nearly 750,000 last year alone.
Unlike other English-proficiency tests, TOEFL iBT does not treat the English-communication process as consisting of separate tasks. The test measures all four language skills and, most importantly, it uses an integrated-skills approach in which test takers need to:
- read, listen, and then speak in response to a question
- listen and then speak in response to a question
- read, listen, and then write in response to a question
According to The Institute of Psychological and Educational Measurement (IPEM) the ETS representatives in India: “TOEFL has emerged from being a test of language comprehension to a comprehensive assessment of a student’s ability to communicate productively in an academic environment. The next generation of TOEFL testing will assess communicative competence in English focusing on all four language skills. This means that there will be a full congruence between developing academic English proficiency and preparing for TOEFL, which is a welcome change for both teachers and students. So, in order to do well on TOEFL in the future, students will need to learn how to communicate productively in speaking and writing in addition to actively
listening and reading.”
Students can take the exam at Thomson Prometric test centers and at other Internet-based university and educational settings. The TOEFL iBT was first offered in September in the United States. Other countries will follow according to a phased plan. (See attached Note to the editor for other planned international launch dates).
“This test is a breakthrough in English-language assessment,” says Kurt Landgraf, ETS President and CEO. “It is the only test that uses Internet-based technology on such a global scale to measure English proficiency. It also helps ETS expand its testing to thousands of locations worldwide, greatly improving access for the test takers we serve.”
“Equally important is that for the first time, the TOEFL test integrates all four components of language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking, to help learners build the skills and confidence needed to communicate effectively in academic environments. University admissions officials and educators asked for this, and with their help, ETS’s research and development experts have delivered it.”
“This new test is the successful culmination of a multi-year effort, combining a new test delivered using new technology and enhanced services through a significantly expanded set of testing centers worldwide,” says Michael Brannick, President of Thomson Prometric, a part of The Thomson
Corporation (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC). “We are committed to our collaboration with ETS to ensure effective and efficient testing operations for this increasingly important test. Thanks to our collective efforts, more testing candidates than ever before will have access to the TOEFL test worldwide.”
“With the new TOEFL iBT test takers are presented with questions that truly reflect how language is used in an academic setting,” notes Mari Pearlman, Senior Vice President of Higher Education at ETS. “Admission officials, in turn, gain a better idea of how well prospective students will interact at their universities.”
“Unlike other English-language tests, we do not use face-to-face interviews for the speaking section of the test,” Pearlman adds. “The interview method may add bias to a test depending on the rapport between the test taker and interviewer. TOEFL test takers record their spoken English. Instead of relying upon one person’s impression, ETS has between three and six highly trained raters review test taker responses. It’s fairer for students and more accurate for universities.”
Pearlman says ETS has also expanded the writing section. In addition to the essay section in the current test, the new test includes another writing task. Test takers will read a short passage, listen to a lecture, and then type their response on the computer screen. Test takers are allowed up to four hours to complete the test, and all sections can be completed on the same day, adding a new level of convenience for test takers.
Because the TOEFL iBT measures all four English skills, and includes independent and integrated tasks, ETS officials believe it will help English instructors link teaching and learning with testing to better help their students perform in academic settings.
Other features of the new test include helpful performance feedback on score reports and score results provided online within 15 business days of testing
A free practice test is also available at TOEFL Practice Online at www.ets org/toeflpractice.
The new test will be administered on fixed dates in the ETS global network of Internet-based test centers and through Thomson Prometric, the world’s largest computer-based testing network.
Most test centers will offer 30 to 40 TOEFL iBT administrations a year. The number may vary, based on the number of test takers and test-center capacity
The testing fee in 2005 will be US$140.
For the latest information about TOEFL iBT, visit www.ets.org/toefl or
contact IPEM 119/25a MG Marg Civil Lines. Allahabad. Email: sumit@....
Test takers can e-mail toefl@... or call 1-877-863-3546 (toll free in
the United States, U.S. territories, and Canada) or 1-609-771-7100.
Revised GRE® General Test to Premiere in October 2006
Princeton, N.J. (October 20, 2005)
After four years of research, and with guidance from the graduate education community, ETS is completing the most significant overhaul of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE®) General Test in the test’s 55-year history. The revamped GRE General Test will be offered for the first time in October 2006
Each of the GRE General Test’s three sections — Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing — will have different types of questions and new formats. ETS expects the changes to increase the validity of the test. The changes will also provide graduate schools with better information on an applicant’s performance, address security concerns, and maximize technology to make better use of computer-enabled questions.
“The changes to the GRE General Test are significant,” says David Payne, Executive Director of the GRE Program in ETS’s Higher Education Division.
“The new test will emphasize complex reasoning skills that are closely aligned to graduate work. We’ll include more real-life scenarios and data interpretation questions, and new, more focused writing questions. In addition, the Verbal and Quantitative sections will have new score scales.
This will improve the GRE test’s usefulness to students and graduate schools”
The new GRE General Test will be slightly over four hours long, an increase from the current two-and-a-half-hour exam. It will also no longer be offered in a computer-adaptive format, where the difficulty of the test is determined by the test taker’s right or wrong answers. Instead, it will be offered in a linear format, in which every student takes the same exam.
Changes to the Verbal Reasoning measure include: two 40-minute sections rather than one 30-minute section greater emphasis on higher cognitive skills and less dependence on vocabulary a broader selection of reading passages including sentence-equivalence questions expansion of computer-enabled tasks
Changes to the Quantitative Reasoning measure include:
two 40-minute sections rather than one 45-minute section fewer geometry questions
more real-life scenarios and data interpretation questions on-screen, four-function calculator with square-root feature
Changes to the Analytical Writing measure include:
15 minutes shorter more focused questions to ensure original analytical writing
30-minute argument and issue tasks
Each test will also contain a variable section that will not count toward a test taker’s score but will be used to select questions for future versions of the exam.
“These changes are intended to make the GRE General Test a more accurate gauge of how qualified prospective students are to do graduate-level work,”
Payne explains. “We’ll also offer more interpretive information to graduate deans and faculty, including providing access to test takers’ essay responses on the Analytical Writing section.”
Because the number and type of questions on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the revised General Test will be different, the traditional point scale of 200 to 800 on these sections will be replaced. The new scale will have 40 to 50 scale points and will be centered somewhere between 120 and 179. The final range may vary slightly, depending on the results of field testing that will conclude in November. Currently a field study of the New Revised GRE is being conducted in IPEM Allahabad, India where over 300 candidates who have appeared or registered for GRE between 1st Jan 2005 and 23 November 2005 are participating.
Also, unlike the current exam, each version of the revised GRE General Test will be used only once, and no test takers will encounter the same questions on different dates. Instead of continuous testing, the exam will be given 29 times a year worldwide. The number of administrations in any given region will depend on the test volumes in that region.
The revised GRE General Test will be administered in the ETS global network of Internet-based test centers and through Thomson Prometric, the world’s largest computer-based testing network.
For the latest information about the revised GRE General Test, visit www.ets org/gre. Test takers can e-mail questions to gre-info@ets org or call 1-609-771-7670. In India please contact IPEM
Revised GRE General Test
The GRE® Program will introduce a revised GRE General Test in October 2006 that is designed to increase test validity enhance security measures provide faculty with better information regarding applicants' performance increase worldwide access to the test, and make better use of advances in technology and psychometric design.
Changes planned include the following:
Greater emphasis on higher cognitive skills and less dependence on vocabulary
More text-based materials, such as reading passages
A broader selection of reading passages
Emphasis on skills related to graduate work, such as complex reasoning Expansion of computer-enabled tasks (e.g., highlighting a sentence in a passage that serves the function described in the question).
See Verbal Reasoning Sample Questions
Quantitative reasoning skills that are closer to skills generally used in graduate school
Decrease in the proportion of Geometry questions
Increase in the proportion of questions involving real-life scenarios
Better use of technology (e.g., on-screen calculator).
See Quantitative Reasoning Sample Questions
New, more focused prompts that reduce the possibility of reliance on memorized materials
The Issue and Argument tasks are each 30 minutes in length
ETS is a nonprofit institution with the mission to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research, and related services for all people worldwide. In serving individuals, educational institutions and government agencies around the world, ETS customizes solutions to meet the need for teacher professional development products and services, classroom and end-of-course assessments, and research-based teaching and learning tools. Founded in 1947, ETS today develops, administers and scores more than 24 million tests annually in more
than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. Additional information is available at www.ets.org.
The Institute of Psychological and Educational Measurement (IPEM) is the official ETS representative in India. IPEM has been the representative of Educational Testing Service (ETS) in India since the past 25 years and has been assisting them in their various testing programmes including TOEFL , GRE, TSE, and SAT.
About Thomson Prometric
The Thomson Corporation, www.thomson.com, is a global leader in providing integrated information solutions to business and professional customers. With operational headquarters in Stamford, Conn., Thomson (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC) has approximately 38,000 employees and provides services in approximately 180 countries. Thomson Prometric, www.prometric.com, is the recognized global leader in technology-enabled assessment services, providing paper-and-pencil, Internet and computer-based testing solutions. It offers a fully integrated testing system that includes test development, test delivery, and data management capabilities. On behalf of 600 current clients in the academic, professional, government, corporate and information technology markets, Thomson Prometric develops and/or delivers assessments through a global network of testing centers as well as directly to candidates via the Web.