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ERIC Number: EJ926439
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1543-4303
The Interpretation and Use of Proficiency Test Scores in University Selection: How Valid and Ethical Are They?
O'Loughlin, Kieran
Language Assessment Quarterly, v8 n2 p146-160 2011
In recent years there has been growing theoretical interest in exploring the relationship between the interpretation and use of high-stakes proficiency test scores. In these discussions, the role of institutional test users (or test score consumers) has received only limited attention. This may be due, at least in part, to the lack of consensus in the literature about the degree of responsibility test users have for the valid and ethical interpretation and use of test scores. To date, there has also been very little empirical research on the work of these stakeholders. This article reports on a study focusing on how the International English Language Testing System was used in the selection of international English as a Second Language students at an Australian university, and the knowledge and beliefs that test users (administrative and academic staff) had about the test. The results suggested that there were a number of serious flaws in the interpretation and use of test scores at this institution. Recommendations are made for improving the use of English proficiency evidence and the assessment literacy of staff within Australian universities. (Contains 5 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia