Refining an English placement test for undergraduates and graduates students

Michelle Reyes RAQUEL, Derrick Jason STONE

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


The Tertiary English Language Test (TELT) was developed at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) for classification of all incoming students, and for screening in some cases. It serves to divide incoming undergraduate and graduate students into three proficiency levels. It was developed with an intention of having a placement test that is linked to the curriculum and so addresses the particular needs of the English enhancement programmes of the Institute. The test measured students' receptive skills of listening, reading, and vocabulary. After extensive item analysis of the previous test, issues of validity, reliability and security emerged and so the test was refined to have more item discrimination, and expanded to include a grammar component. This presentation will focus on the process involved in refining the multiple choice placement test. It will outline test specifications, stages of item writing, piloting, process of item analysis and its corresponding results using Rasch measurement, and the process of establishing cut off scores that involved expert judgment. The presentation will also report on stakeholders‘ response to the new tool and immediate challenges for TELT in further development such as issues of test design, implementation and redesign to serve as an exit test.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


Raquel, M. R., & Stone, D. (2009, July). Refining an English placement test for undergraduates and graduates students. Paper presented at the Pacific Rim Objective Measurement Symposium 2009 (PROMS 2009) Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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