kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Reliability of Cambridge Placement Test results is questionable

THE Cambridge Placement Test (CPT) was carried out in 2013 to gauge the proficiency of all English teachers nationwide. The objective to conduct the CPT is indeed commendable, especially when the deteriorating standard of English among English teachers is a cause for concern today.

However, the way in which the CPT was administered is very much questionable. Teachers were given a token as a password each to do the test online anywhere at their own convenience. Is this procedure valid when many a teacher received help from their colleagues, spouses or relatives?

In some schools, the English teachers meticulously completed the CPT together for each and every colleague with the most proficient teacher providing the answers. Excellent team work!

Some teachers encountered technical glitches and problems like the computer hanging and clicking the wrong button in the midst of answering the CPT items.

Taking all these discrepancies and problems into consideration, the reliability and validity of the CPT results will surely be questionable. It must be pointed out here that we are not questioning the reliability and validity of the CPT or the test items.

Based on the CPT results, about 37,000 English teachers who did not obtain C1 or C2 bands (advanced user levels) have to attend the “Professional Up-Skilling Of The English Teachers (Pro-ELT)” programme” to enhance their English Language proficiency and this incurs huge sums of taxpayers’ money. A third cohort of unhappy teachers are now attending the Pro-ELT programme.

The CPT should have been carried out in a centre with external invigilators for the test results to be considered valid and reliable. It would allow English teachers who are required to attend Pro-ELT programme to be properly identified.

If an important test like the CPT was conducted properly at the very start, it will help reduce unnecessary costs and prevent victimising some of the teachers.

We hope that those carrying out such tests in future will strictly adhere to the principles of fair testing.

Fair Play Johor The STAR Home News Opinion 31/01/2014

Tags: assessment, cpt, english, reliability, testing

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