What is the Placement Test?
Most reputable language centres conduct placement tests to assess new students’ language skills. They are usually conducted when the student first registers with the centre. The results of the test help the centre to advise the student which is the most appropriate course for them to take.
Unlike formal examinations such as SPM, the placement tests are devised by each centre to meet its specific range of courses. Enhance Education’s experienced teachers have designed 4 specific placement tests that are graded by language difficulty and student age. All the tests address the key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
No preparation is needed for the placement tests: indeed, it is best not to prepare for them because their sole purpose is to help us assess each student’s real English learning needs.
Each Placement Test comprises two sections:
Section A: Written Test
The written test comprises several sections ranging from grammatical accuracy and vocabulary to spelling and extended writing. The tests involve a variety of tasks including picture labelling, word substitution, multiple choice, etc. Most students complete the written test in about 30 minutes.
Section B: Speaking Assessment
Every student has a short one-on-one interview with a teacher. For younger students the interview uses pictures and specific questions to prompt their spoken responses while for older students the interview is more of a guided discussion. In all cases the aim is to enable the teacher to assess the student’s spoken accuracy, fluency, range and pronunciation. Most speaking assessments last for about 5 minutes.
Because the placement test is not like a competitive public examination we do not release individual test scores. Also, while the test score is a significant factor in our choosing which course to recommend to each student it is not the only factor. We take account of each student’s individual needs and aims, English learning experience, the language environment in which they live and work or study, and for younger students their age and social maturity as well as any specific requests their parents may have.
Quite often these various factors will suggest that more than one course may be suitable. In such cases we will recommend the course that we feel best fits the student’s profile and we will suggest any other courses that might also be appropriate as second or third choices. We are always more than happy to discuss these options with students and parents so that together we can agree which seems to be the best course to take.
If you have any questions about the placement test or class allocations please contact a member of our customer service team who can, in addition, arrange for you to speak with a teacher.