IJͼ

IJͼ Proficiency Placement Test (APPT)

A non-proctored, computer-adaptive, listening and reading proficiency test

APPT logo

The APPT is an assessment of the Interpretive Listening and Interpretive Reading modes, as defined by the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages.

The listening section measures how well a person spontaneously understands spoken language as described in the IJͼ Proficiency Guidelines. The reading section measures how well a person spontaneously understands written texts, as described in the IJͼ Proficiency Guidelines. The listening and reading sections assess general language proficiency, rather than what is learned in a specific program, class, school, or university. It is not tied to a particular teaching method or curriculum. Rather than assessing what a person “knows” about the language, the APPT is an assessment of how well a person can understand the spoken and written language.

The APPT provides separate proficiency ratings for listening and reading according to the IJͼ Proficiency Guidelines. Proficiency ratings range from Novice Low to Advanced Low. These results are used as indicators of general proficiency for placement into language courses.

Languages

The IJͼ Proficiency Placement Test (APPT) is available in French and Spanish.

Reasons to Use APPT

The IJͼ Proficiency Placement Test (APPT) is designed for students entering university language programs who wish to determine their reading and listening proficiency levels for placement in language courses. It assists language program faculty in making informed decisions regarding which language course would be the best course of study based on the learner’s language ability.

Format

The APPT was developed in partnership with . The test consists of two sections, reading and listening, which assess the interpretive mode of communication.

The listening and reading sections consist of genuine audio passages and reading texts across a range of proficiency levels to assess language proficiency between Novice Low and Advanced Low. Listening passages and reading texts vary in genre, content, length, and complexity depending on the level being targeted. Each passage or text is followed by one multiple-choice question in English.

As a computer adaptive test, the APPT adapts to the test taker's listening and reading abilities; the computer algorithm selects questions based on the test taker’s performance on previous questions. Test questions will be presented to the test taker until enough information has been gathered to assign a “floor” rating (the level where the test taker has demonstrated sustained performance) and a “ceiling” rating (the level where patterns of breakdown emerge). Then the test will end.

This makes the test efficient in both time and effort, lasting up to 60 minutes for both the reading and listening sections. While the test is not timed, individual test questions require a response within a predetermined amount of time for each proficiency level.

Each section presents between 10-25 questions depending on the ability of the test taker. A is available online.

Proficiency Ranges

The APPT measures reading and listening proficiency from Novice Low through Advanced Low on the IJͼ Rating Scale. APPT results for reading and listening skills are used as indicators of general proficiency, they are not official proficiency ratings. The following summary offers the descriptors from the IJͼ Proficiency Guidelines for reading and listening proficiency at each major level.

Proficiency Ranges for APPT

Assessment Criteria

Interpretive Listening is based largely on the amount of information listeners can understand from what is being spoken, as well as the inferences and connections they can make from listening to spoken language produced by one or multiple speakers under a variety of circumstances. Likewise, Interpretive Reading is based largely on the amount of information readers can understand from a text, as well as the inferences and connections they can make within and across texts and within different contexts. The APPT assesses how well learners comprehend spoken or written language in a variety of contexts, regardless of where, when, or how the language was acquired.

In assessing listening and reading comprehension, the following criteria are considered:

  • the functions and purposes of the spoken or written language,
  • the content areas and contexts for the spoken or written language,
  • the text type that the learner can understand in the language,
  • the range of vocabulary and grammatical structures the learner can understand, and
  • the cultural references the learner can understand in the language.

Reasons to Use APPT

The IJͼ Proficiency Placement Test (APPT) is designed for learners entering university language programs who wish to determine their reading and listening proficiency levels for placement in language courses. It assists language program faculty in making informed decisions regarding which language course would be the best course of study, based on the learner’s language ability.

Familiarization

Prior to taking IJͼ’s Proficiency Placement Test (APPT), we suggest the following:

  • Take the APPT
  • Read the APPT Familiarization Guide
  • Read the Listening and Reading Proficiency Guidelines with sample texts.

Reliability and Validity

The IJͼ Proficiency Placement Test (APPT) is a valid and reliable assessment of listening and reading proficiency. The APPT was developed in alignment with a well-defined construct, following a rigorous development process. Items were field-tested for validation and calibration for the computer adaptive model. Items are revised, recalibrated, archived, or reviewed as necessary and based on regular feedback. Further, new items are added regularly, following the rigorous item development procedures, field testing, and validation processes.