Evaluating and Testing English Language Skills: Benchmarking the TOEFL and IELTS Tests

  •  Haytham Bakri    


Testing English Language skills cannot be ignored in English Language classrooms all over the world. Most importantly, it is pertinent to describe how students view their own achievements. Reports have repeatedly shown that students’ grades often differ from their expectations. Standardized English tests are an important requirement for international students. TOEFL and IELTS are two set of tests that are widely used worldwide. Hence, this study aimed to test the validity of placement tests (TOEFL and IELTS). To achieve the objective of the study, data was gathered on the face validity and construct validity of TOEFL and IELTS exams from respondents who were taking the exams in Riyadh area of Saudi Arabia. A total of 60 students participated in the study by filling the questionnaire. Data gathered was analyzed using SPSS. The results of the study were presented in tables and figures. The tests’ reliability was determined using the Rasch model. The analysis showed that both tests were valid at r-score = (.477; .288; .183; .012) for reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills, respectively. The data analysis revealed that the placement tests chosen by students at the center (TOEFL and IELTS) were valid and reliable. The analyses conducted showed that Reading (0.291266), Speaking (0.343007), Listening (0.567623) and Writing (0.35101) skills constructed against face validity were valid, (between -1.0 to 1.0). This was proven by the Pearson Product Moment Correlation. The author concluded that the assessment of the tests’ validity and reliability showed that the placement test instruments were dependable as well as valid, and the test takers face validity assessment provided evidence of the tests’ effectiveness.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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