The IELTS test is designed to assess students’ competence in English language in an integrated skills; reading, speaking, writing and listening. It is an obligatory exam for registration in many universities as well as it is a certificate to raise their luck in gaining a job. The listening test is particularly aimed at measuring the ability of students understanding of English. In most cases Universities offer preparation course for the students to develop their skills further, in order to prepare them, the exam centres are well equipped with computers, microphones and other recording devices. This paper will accentuate on evaluating an IELTS listening test in relation to its reliability, validity, authenticity, instructiveness, fairness, impact and wash back. The particular test to be evaluated was taken from IELTS official practice material updated in March 2009.
Background: The IELTS Test
This test was developed in correspondence with the increased need for competitive skills in English language. It is mostly taken by those who need to certify their level of English proficiency for reasons such as education, vocation and immigration. Quoting the IELTS Handbook (2006:4) Green (2007) claims that the test tests the language ability of candidates who may need to study or work in countries where English is the language of communication. The test generally measures a person’s ability to communicate in English across several skills including Listening on which this paper will focus on.
The IELTS is developed and conveyed through the partnership of the British council, IDP Education Australia and the University of Cambridge. It is administered in a number of centres operating in different countries worldwide. Most...
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