Авторы: ,

Рубрика: Филология

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №11 (91) июнь-1 2015 г.

Дата публикации: 04.06.2015

Статья просмотрена: 211 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Холтман К., Кошелева Е. Ю. The iTEP examination as a new way to evaluate the level of English proficiency // Молодой ученый. — 2015. — №11. — С. 1703-1706. — URL https://moluch.ru/archive/91/19870/ (дата обращения: 24.03.2018).

The International Test of English Proficiency Academic examination is an innovative, Internet-based English language assessment tool developed and provided by Boston Educational Services.

The Examination is now widely used to evaluate the English proficiency of students or prospective students for student visa purposes and for admissions, placement, progress evaluation, and teacher assessment. It also guides course instruction and curriculum development or determines eligibility for scholarships by colleges and universities.

Boston Education Services is well placed to respond to a likely shortage of test places available to students or prospective students seeking a student visa in order to pursue higher education options in the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) and other destinations requiring English language proficiency.

Since the introduction of the Examination in 2008, the integrity demonstrated by Boston Educational Services to deliver this test has been impeccable. The content of the Examination is regularly updated and the highest standards of administration are required in its conduct. The reliability and validity of the Examination is widely acknowledged. Students, prospective students and student recruitment agencies are attracted to the Examination’s affordability. External validating bodies are impressed with the Examination’s effectiveness as an English language evaluation, placement, assessment, and exit-testing tool.

The Examination is the flagship product of Boston Educational Services, which is headquartered in Canoga Park, north of Los Angeles, California, USA. Perry Akins and Sharif Ossayran, two individuals with deep roots in the international education field, founded Boston Educational Services in 2002. Perry Akins served previously as President of ELS Educational Services for 30 years and helped it grow from operating two language centers to 82. Sharif Ossayran served previously as Director of International Development at ELS Educational Services and founded Scholastic Insurance Agencies.

Boston Educational Services introduced the Examination in 2008. Since then it has rapidly become popular with a wide variety of organizations throughout the world. For example, the admissions offices of over 500 US colleges and universities now accept the iTEP. Also in the US many intensive English programs now choose to use the Examination for English language evaluation, placement, assessment, and exit testing. This is due to recognition by peak bodies of the Examination as an effective tool with which to validate intensive English programs

Beyond the US, the Examination continues to expand with governments, businesses and international organizations which elect to make the Examination their test of choice.

Boston Educational Services has also developed several other tests since the Examination. For example, the iTEP Business examination is now selected by dozens of multinational companies as their language assessment tool of choice when recruiting, hiring and promoting staff. The iTEP Slate is a secondary--‐level examination developed for middle school and early high school students, and this has become popular in the US and with secondary schools abroad. The iTEP Hospitality examination is a test tailored specifically to the hospitality industry. It is hoped that the design of this test will help hospitality organizations evaluate and perfect the English language assessment aspect of their recruiting, placement and internal promotion activities [2]. The latest additions (since 2015) to the growing line of English assessment tools are iTEP Au Pair and iTEP Intern. These new exams were created for individuals applying for J-1 Visas to work as au pairs or interns in the US [3].

The Examination is delivered via secure Internet connection. Additional high standard security measures minimize the risk of identity substitution and document fraud. The Examination is only administered at a Certified iTEP Test Centre or another approved, certified, and secure location where standardized testing conditions can be applied and ensured. Invigilators (Proctors) are trained in the detection of inappropriate use of electronic devices.

Examination content is streamed live over the Internet during the test, so no Examination items are ever stored on the computer or cache proxy server. Regular updating of content and the Examination item bank minimizes the potential for prior knowledge of test material. Measures are in place to minimize the risk of identity substitution. Document fraud measures are also in place, including Examination reports incorporating security features to prevent tampering and forgery. The Examination is administered in secure «kiosk mode», which prevents test-takers from accessing any other windows or programs on the computer while taking the test. Kiosk mode is an Internet Explorer feature that allows the user to access web pages only. Under kiosk mode, Internet Explorer’s toolbars, title bars, menus, and status bars are not displayed, and web pages are displayed in Full Screen mode [1].

Boston Education Services updates their Examination content regularly and employs only trained markers and invigilators (proctors). Boston Education Services advises that Examination results remain available for online verification for at least two years for audit purposes or to assist with integrity checks.

Descriptors of results are also provided to candidates when they receive their Examination score and accompanying Examination score advice. Suspected or proven incidents of fraud have always been reported in a timely fashion to the relevant authority, and reports have included the steps taken by Boston Educational Services to address them.

In April, 2015 the iTEP team announced FotoSure, a new proprietary test security program, which immensely improves upon iTEP’s already stellar security practices. FotoSure snaps and stores digital photographs of the test-taker throughout the exam period. During the grading process, trained iTEP graders review the photos to ensure that the person who was approved to take the exam completed each section him or herself, without aid or substitution. Along with the test scores, these images can be used by institutions and companies to verify the person who sat for the exam [4].

Structure and Content of the iTEP.

The content of the Examination has been informed by research, which supports Boston Educational Services in benchmarking the Examination for comparability and maintaining equivalencies. This ongoing research further supports the validity and reliability of this test of English language proficiency. The structure and content of the Examination is as follows:

Grammar (Structure). This section lasts 10 minutes and comprises only one part. It consists of 25 multiple choice questions, each of which tests the examinee's familiarity with a key feature of English structure. This section includes a range of structures from simple to more complex, as well as a range of vocabulary from beginner to advanced. There are two question types, each with on-screen examples.

Reading. This section lasts 20 minutes and is divided into two parts: o Part 1 features one intermediate--‐level passage about 250 words in length followed by four multiple--‐choice questions o Part 2 features one college--‐level paragraph about 450 words in length followed by 6 multiple--‐choice questions.

Listening. This section lasts 20 minutes and is divided into three parts: o Part 1: Four high--‐beginner to low--‐intermediate--‐level conversations of two or three sentences, each followed by one multiple—choice question o Part 2: One two--‐ to three--‐minute intermediate--‐level conversation followed by four multiple--‐choice questions o Part 3: One four--‐minute lecture allowed by six multiple--‐choice questions.

Writing. This section lasts 25 minutes and comprises two parts.

-                   Part 1: The examinee is asked to write a short note, geared at the low intermediate level, on a supplied topic in response to instructions (five minutes / 50–75 words).

-                   Part 2: The examinee is presented with a brief, low--‐advanced level written topic and is asked to express and support his/her opinion on the topic (20 minutes / 175‐225 words).

Speaking.This section lasts five minutes and comprises two parts:

-                   Part 1: The Examinee hears and reads a short question geared at the low intermediate level. The examinee has 30 seconds to prepare a spoken response, and 45 seconds to speak.

-                   Part 2: The examinee hears a brief low advanced level statement presenting two sides of an issue. The examinee is then asked to express his/her thoughts on the topic, with 45 seconds to prepare, and 60 seconds to speak.

The Examination randomly pulls questions from several test «item banks», which increases the diversity of the content and ensures that no Examination is ever replicated. All Examination content must pass a rigorous cycle of evaluation. After a test item is written, it is then submitted to the Test Development Department at Boston Educational Services for review and approval by the Head Test Developer and Academic Director. Upon approval, the test item is then deemed valid for inclusion in a pilot study. Once a test item has passed the pilot study, it is then measured statistically against other item types to ensure its reliability among similar test items. The statistical item analyses determine which test items are qualified and reliable, and those items can then be included in the live Examination item bank [2].

The iTEP is reviewed and graded by native English‐speaking trained ESOL professionals, according to a standardized rubrics. No preparation materials and/or courses are available to inflate Examination scores artificially. It is a true test of English proficiency.

Results provided to test-takers. Examination determines an overall proficiency level from 0 (beginner) to 6 (mastery), as well as individual proficiency levels from 0 to 6 for each of the skills tested. For greater accuracy, results are also expressed in tenth-levels (2.1, 2.2, etc.). The Examination is assessed as follows: Reading, listening, and grammar sections of the Examination reassessed automatically by the computer. Each Examination section is weighted equally and there is no penalty in the multiple choice sections for guessing or incorrect answers. The writing and speaking samples are assessed by native English-speaking ESOL-trained professionals, according to a standardized assessment rubric.

The official assessment report for the Examination presents an individual’s results information in multiple formats—the graphical format, or skill profile, is particularly useful for displaying an examinee’s strengths and weaknesses in each of the skills.

A comparison of an iTEP and the most popular international tests: TOEFL / IELTS.

Table 1

 iTEP Academic-Plus vs. IELTS


iTEP Academic — Plus


Total Exam Time

90 minutes

147 minutes


$99 (global retail price for applicants); significant institutional discounts

$187 (variance by country/location)


On — demand scheduling within 3 days of contacting a Certified iTEP Test Center

Approx. 48 fixed test dates per year; test must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance

Results Delivery

Results returned within 5 business days

Resultsusually returned 13 days after test


Table 2

iTEP Academic-Plus vs. TOEFL IBT


iTEP Academic — Plus


Total Exam Time

90 minutes

260 minutes


$99 (global retail price for applicants); significant institutional discounts

$160 — $250 (variance by country/location)


On — demand scheduling within 3 days of contacting a Certified iTEP Test Center

Test dates are scheduled in advance by ETS

Results Delivery

Results returned within 5 business days

Results returned within 2–3 weeks


Conclusion. The iTEP examination is an appropriate testing instrument for measuring all four English language skills, i.e. reading, writing, speaking and listening. Boston Educational Services has appropriate systems in place to ensure the validity and reliability of iTEP results. The iTEP was developed by appropriately qualified people and continues to be used to provide a realistic measure of English language ability, free of gender or ethnic bias. An expanding number of institutions and authorities now use the Examination, which further indicates the experience and international recognition that Boston Educational Services is able to offer prospective students; student recruitment agents; education providers; and government agencies in support of English language requirements that protect the integrity of their visa programs.




1.                  Philip R. Brown Boston Educational Services, Canoga Park, CA, USA (2014) — Comprehensive review of the International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP). 19 p.

2.                  iTEP Exams (2015) Retrieved 10 May 2015 from http://www.itepexam.com/itep-exam.

3.                  New Exams: iTEP AuPair, iTEP Intern (2015) Retrieved 20 May 2015 from http://www.itepexam.com/new-exams-itep-aupair-itep-intern.

4.                  iTEP Takes Test Security to New Heights (2015) Retrieved 1 May 2015 from http://www.itepexam.com/itep-takes-test-security-to-new-heights

Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): Boston Educational Services, examination, English language, Examination item bank, iTEP examination, Proficiency Academic examination, Examination content, Boston Education Services, Examination score advice, live Examination item, Examination’s affordability, English language proficiency, English language assessment, iTEP Intern, test, ‐level examination, Examination’s effectiveness, Hospitality examination, Business examination, Examination items.


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