Taking Language Assessment to a Whole New Level With Next Generation Placement Tests
Looking for ways to elevate your language assessment? Check out NGPT
As a teacher, assessing someone’s level of knowledge is a highly complex task, especially when we’re talking about language. What if someone’s vocabulary is outstanding but they make basic grammar mistakes? What if their reading skills are off the charts but they can’t seem to communicate their ideas verbally as clearly as they do on paper?
Even with a detailed outline of the CEFR levels, we educators often struggle to create placement tests that won’t be too easy or difficult for our students to solve, but simply, just right.
Creating such a placement test isn’t an easy task. Fortunately, this is precisely where Next Generation Placement Tests come into play. I’ve finally decided to give these tests a go and can only regret not doing so sooner.
If you’re curious about Next Generation Placement Tests as I was, you can learn more about them here.
As their name suggests, Next Generation Placement Tests, or simply NGPT, take language assessment to a whole new level by combining innovative coding and advanced mathematical algorithms for fully adaptive tests.
And what does that mean for teachers?
Essentially, this means each test taker has a unique testing experience depending on the given answers. The result of such an algorithm is access to fully responsive and adaptive language tasks.
In simple words, these tests adapt to test-takers based on the answers they provide. If students answer several questions in a row correctly, the algorithm presents them with questions from a higher level to challenge them a bit more. Similarly, getting multiple questions wrong will result in the algorithm choosing slightly easier questions that students will be more likely to get right.
With such a system, language learners don’t finish their placement tests thinking the whole experience was too easy or difficult for them. Instead, the advanced mathematical algorithms ensure all test-takers finish their placement tests successfully but with just the right amount of challenge.
The NGPT system sounds impressive indeed, but what is it like to go through this kind of testing experience? I tried it out to find out more about it.
Trying out NGPT is extremely easy. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide you can follow:
- Go to https://nextgenplacement.org/.
- Navigate to the bottom of the page and click on the red Try out now button.
- Select the language you want to test. Right now, you can choose from English, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.
- Enter the email address where you want to receive the link to the test.
- Go to your email inbox and follow the link to the test provided by the NGPT organization.
As an English language teacher, first I wanted to see how the test performs in English. By incorporating various types of exercises, including the use of English, listening, and reading, these tests cover all areas required for a precise evaluation of someone’s knowledge.
The use of English sentences are creative, the reading comprehension texts intriguing and engaging, and the listening recordings loud and clear. As for the adaptive algorithm, NGPT do exactly what they’re supposed to, as I made some mistakes just to see how the system would react. The transition was seamless and I saw the tasks getting easier after I got some of them wrong.
Once I completed the placement test for the English language, I wanted to test my knowledge with a language I wasn’t so confident in but still had some kind of a foundation that would help me go through the tasks. That’s why I chose Spanish.
During the testing of my Spanish, I felt like I got the most out of the adaptive feature considering my knowledge of this language is fairly inconsistent. Actually, I was surprised by how much of my Spanish I forgot, so this served as a great reminder that I should brush up on my Spanish skills.
To sum everything up, I was more than happy to get back into the role of a student and test out this promising platform. Not only can NGPT help teachers utilize an easy-to-use and effective solution for determining the knowledge level of their new students but it also allows them to see where their existing students are in terms of learning materials mastered.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the whole system behind NGPT and urge all readers to give it a go!