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Dynamic Placement Test resource bank

About placement testing

  1. Defining a language test

    Sean McDonald of telc Language Tests looks at placement, diagnostic, achievement and proficiency tests. (Blog) Read more
  2. Defining a placement test

    In the first of a series of short videos that explore this issue, testing expert Laura Edwards defines a placement test. (Video) Watch now
  3. Placement test versus proficiency test

    Sean McDonald contrasts the roles of placement tests, and 'high stakes' proficiency tests such as IELTS. (Video) Watch now

  4. How important is time in a placement test?

    Andrew Stokes discusses whether test takers need to have time to answer every question for a placement test to be valid. (Video) Watch now

  5. Cultural fairness in a placement test

    A placement test score should be a fair representation of a candidate’s ability, not their cultural knowledge. Here are four steps test designers can take to ensure that. (Blog) Read more

  6. Cultural fairness in a placement test

    Andrew Stokes discusses the measures test providers can take to ensure that a placement test is culturally fair. (Video) Watch now

  7. Should a placement test include all four skills?

    Must you test all four skills in a placement test for it to be valid? Testing expert Laura Edwards shares her view. (Video) Watch now

  8. Why placement testing is so important

    Sean McDonald explains why using a placement test contributes dramatically to a student’s success in language learning. (Blog) Read more

  9. Why an adaptive test is the only answer

    Adrian Raper contrasts linear and adaptive tests and explains why only the latter work effectively in language testing. (Blog) Read more

  10. Adaptive tests: The detail

    What more can be done for tests other than just putting the test online with some fancy layouts? Adaptivity is the way forward. (Blog) Read more

  11. How the CEFR supports teaching, testing and learning

    Richard Spiby talks about why educators are obsessed by the test construct and how the CEFR is such a positive framework. (Blog) Read more

  12. What is a CEFR level?

    An overview of the CEFR, with handy descriptors for each of the six broad levels; a snapshot of how they can be subdivided. Read more

  13. Dynamic Placement Test: Question types

    This video tutorial helps test takers prepare for the Dynamic Placement Test. It introduces the six main question types. (Video) Watch now

  14. How to assess a test

    Andrew Stokes suggests a checklist of 10 questions to ask and answer when you are selecting a new placement test. (Blog) Read more

  15. The CEFR and… cooking

    Sean McDonald suggests an ingenious approach to explaining the CEFR to the wider community of non-specialists. (Blog) Read more

Dynamic Placement Test: Background and theory

  1. Dynamic Placement Test construct

    Mia Aghajari explains the thinking behind the Dynamic Placement Test. (PDF) Read more

  2. Validity of the Dynamic Placement Test

    How do the test developers ensure that the Dynamic Placement Test is valid? (PDF) Read more

  3. Ensuring the Dynamic Placement Test is valid and reliable

    Andrew Stokes considers four measures that ensure the Dynamic Placement Test is both valid and reliable. (Blog) Read more

  4. 'Your test isn’t accurate!' — A test designer responds

    Laura Edwards looks at the dangers of being too subjective when judging test output. (Blog) Read more

  5. Correlating receptive and productive skills

    Sean McDonald discusses how well receptive and productive skills correlate, as measured against the CEFR. (Video) Watch now

  6. Matching test items to the CEFR: The first two stages

    Sean McDonald explains the process of creating test items to match CEFR 'can do' statements. (Video) Watch now

  7. Digital assessment: Flexibility and the CEFR

    Thom Jones believes the CEFR is valuable as a way of measuring the 'currency' of testing. (Blog) Read more

Developing and maintaining the test

  1. Interview with Sean McDonald, lead test developer

    Sean McDonald laments the fact that nowadays people don’t take tests for fun, and suggests why that should change. (Blog) Read more

  2. Three early challenges for the test developers

    Andrew Stokes looks at issues of hardware, item types and building test items, and how they were solved. (Blog) Read more

  3. Question bank: Review and renew

    The reliability and validity of a placement test lies in the quality of the questions. So what is the key to a good question bank? (Blog) Read more

  4. The first standard setting and benchmarking event

    Sieon Lau gives the background to Clarity’s first standard setting event. (Blog) Read more

  5. Standard setting event: Feedback from participants

    Testing experts from around the world who attended the event give their feedback. (Video) Watch now

  6. Concept for the new Admin Panel

    Sky Chan talks about the concepts behind the design of the new Dynamic Placement Test Admin Panel. (Blog) Read more

Admin Panel

  1. Getting started with the Admin Panel

    A one-page tutorial to show you the main functions of the Admin Panel. (PDF) Read more

  2. Getting started with the Admin Panel

    This six-page tutorial will walk you through the basics of the Admin Panel, helping you create tests and view results. (PDF) Read more

  3. Getting started with the Admin Panel

    This short video guide will walk you through the basics of the Admin Panel, helping you create tests and view results. (Video) Watch now

  4. Setting up a quick test

    A one-page, 5-minute tutorial on how to set up a quick test using the Admin Panel. (PDF) Read moreick test

  5. Additional features with the Admin Panel

    Part 2 of the Admin Panel Guide will walk you through some additional and advanced features. (Video) Watch now

Test taker guide

  1. Test taker guide, English

    A one-page guide to show test takers how to access the Dynamic Placement Test. English version. (PDF) Read more

  2. Test taker guide, Arabic

    A one-page guide to show test takers how to access the Dynamic Placement Test. English version with Arabic. (PDF) Read more

  3. Test taker guide, English

    This guide gives test takers all the information they need before taking the Dynamic Placement Test. English version. (Video) Watch now

  4. Test taker guide, Arabic

    This guide gives test takers all the information they need before taking the Dynamic Placement Test. Arabic version. (Video) Watch now

  5. Test taker guide, Cantonese

    This guide gives test takers all the information they need before taking the Dynamic Placement Test. Cantonese version. (Video) Watch now

  6. Practice questions, English

    These practice questions allow test takers to try out all six question types offline. English version. (PDF) Read more

  7. Practice questions, Traditional Chinese

    These practice questions allow test takers to try out all six question types offline. Chinese version. (PDF) Read more

Running the Dynamic Placement Test: Practicalities

  1. Running the test: Three scenarios

    This document looks at three different scenarios for running the Dynamic Placement Test — all tried and tested. (PDF) Read more

  2. Can I test 2,000 students before lunch?

    Running placement tests for a large cohort of new students can be time-consuming, costly and tedious. Dr Adrian Raper’s five-question framework makes it totally efficient. Test it here. (Blog) Read more

  3. Online proctoring: A new and changing world

    Online proctoring can help make remote assessment programmes more accessible and flexible. But what should you look for in a provider? (Blog) Read more

  4. User guide for test takers

    A one-page guide to show test takers how to access the Dynamic Placement Test. English version. (PDF) Read more

  5. Getting started for test takers in English

    This guide gives test takers all the information they need before taking the Dynamic Placement Test. English version. (Video) Watch now

  6. Getting started for test takers in Arabic

    This guide gives test takers all the information they need before taking the Dynamic Placement Test. Arabic version. (Video) Watch now

  7. Dynamic Placement Test security

    This document looks at how to define and apply appropriate levels of test security. (PDF) Read more

  8. Running tests from home

    Adrian Raper discusses the best setup for home testing and looks at invigilation, timing, access and results. (Blog) Read more

  9. Online and offline testing

    Andrew Stokes explains how the Dynamic Placement Test caters to students who may not have good Internet access. (Blog) Read more

  10. Dynamic Placement Test: Interpreting scores

    This document looks at how scores are reported, including CEFR, Relative Numeric, Unclassified and A0 scores. (PDF) Read more

  11. Placement test results: What do they mean?

    Andrew Stokes draws on the purpose of testing in other fields (e.g. swimming) to put placement testing in context. (Blog) Read more

  12. Recruitment testing: Three things to consider

    Whether you are recruiting 60 or 600 candidates, answer these three questions to choose the right placement test for your company’s needs. (Blog) Read more

Case Studies

  1. A placement test gives HOPES to Syrian refugees

    This case study describes the role of the Dynamic Placement Test in an international project to help young Syrian refugees enter higher education. (Blog) Read more

  2. Online learning for Syrian and Lebanese youth

    The HOPES-LEB project aims to improve the chances for a better future for young people in Lebanon. Here’s how they do it. (Blog) Read more

  3. Brunel University: Secure remote testing

    With IELTS test centres closed, London’s Brunel University turned to the Dynamic Placement Test. (Blog) Read more

  4. Universitas Indonesia: A test for a new generation

    Language centre managers at Universitas Indonesia felt that a new generation needed a new approach. (Blog) Read more

  5. Wenzao University: Testing 1,500 students before lunch

    Wenzao University ran a trial to determine whether they could test 1,525 new students, using their own devices. (Blog) Read more

  6. Etherton Education: Why we test students pre-arrival

    Etherton Education outline the advantages of conducting placement tests before students even leave home. (Blog) Read more

  7. Andalas University: Challenges and solutions (2017)

    We look at the pitfalls of running a test that relies on students’ own devices, and consider how we can overcome them. (Blog) Read more

  8. Universitas Indonesia: A survey of students

    A user experience survey conducted at Universitas Indonesia shows how students react to their first digital placement test. (Blog) Read more

  9. The English filter: DPT for recruitment

    This case study shows how a company in Saudi Arabia tested the English of 2,000 applicants across 17 time zones. (Blog) Read more

The future, research, misc

  1. AI and Speaking: The next chapter

    Adrian Raper looks ahead, sharing new developments in AI and speaking assessments, researchers to look out for, and where to find out more. (Blog) Read more

  2. Possible future path of Dynamic Placement Test

    Sean McDonald and Laura Edwards discuss possible future directions for the test, including testing productive skills. (Blog) Read more

  3. AI marking

    Adrian Raper provides a useful primer on the mechanics of how Artificial Intelligence grades written work. (Blog) Read more

  4. Do you know you’re being tested?

    Andrew Stokes looks at how we can use students’ daily interactions to measure their level of English. (Blog) Read more

  5. Can your choice of device affect your result?

    Do test takers who use a laptop or desktop score better than those who take the test on mobile? We look at the data. (Blog) Read more