NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1022152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0265-5322
Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (CEPA) in English
Coombe, Christine; Davidson, Peter
Language Testing, v31 n2 p269-276 Apr 2014
The Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (CEPA) is a large-scale, high-stakes, English language proficiency/placement test administered in the United Arab Emirates to Emirati nationals in their final year of secondary education or Grade 12. The purpose of the CEPA is to place students into English classes at the appropriate government institution. The first administration of the CEPA began in 2002 as a joint venture between the National Admissions and Placement Office (NAPO) in the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the three federal higher education institutions in the UAE, namely the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), and Zayed University (ZU). Currently, the CEPA office has full-time staff dedicated to the development, scoring, and administration of the exam. CEPA-English, which is the primary subject of this review, was initially designed to place students into English classes in the preparatory or first-year program at the respective tertiary institutions that students planned to attend. To frame this review, the authors looked at CEPA-English and how it measures up to what Coombe, Folse, and Hubley (2007) call the cornerstones of testing, the guiding principles that underlie all good assessments. In its present form, the CEPA assesses through one item format: multiple-choice questions (MCQs). Although there are a number of advantages of using MCQs, the general assessment literature recommends that students should be assessed through multiple-measures assessment as no single type of assessment or in this case item format can tell all that needs to be known about a student's level. As such, we encourage the CEPA team to consider using a wider variety of item formats both fixed choice and open-ended.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 12; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Arab Emirates
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: International English Language Testing System; Test of English as a Foreign Language
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A