Academic literacy tests

 

Tests : diagnostic, placement, attainment, proficiency and progress

Our academic literacy tests do not only measure mastery of language and structure (sound, form and meaning), but also assess the process of using language and being competent in communication. Language is therefore considered to be a social instrument we use to mediate and negotiate interaction in specific contexts. We thus measure the ability of users in terms of a combination of the following, depending on the type of test:

  • academic argumentation;
  • vocabulary;
  • ambiguity, metaphor and idiom;
  • text types, genre and audience;
  • relations between text parts;
  • graphic and visual information;
  • distinctions between essential and non-essential information, classifying, comparing;
  • sequence and order;
  • inference, evidence, extrapolation;
  • communicative function (defining or arguing);
  • meaning beyond the sentence level;
  • grammar and structure;
  • reading comprehension;
  • listening comprehension; and
  • academic integrity.

Our tests are highly reliable and the majority have been validated. Cronbach alphas as high as 0.96 have been measured on samples as small as 33 with tests of 65 questions. We investigate their internal validity (face content and construct) as well as external validity (consequential, concurrent, predictive) as part of our validation efforts.

Available tests are:

Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL) (available in more than one language)
Test of Academic Literacy Levels for Postgraduate Students (TALPS) (available in more than one language)
Academic Listening Test (ALT)
Language Proficiency Test (LPT) (available in more than one language)