The LanguageCert Academic test is for candidates seeking to study in tertiary education. Test content is tailored for academic study at undergraduate, postgraduate or professional level.
The test measures a range of skills and competences appropriate for academic study in an English-medium setting: reading and listening for gist or for a detailed understanding of a range of written and audio sources including academic articles, lectures, podcasts, interviews, discussions; writing reports, articles and essays for an academic purpose; giving presentations; reading aloud; or taking part in a discussion.
LanguageCert General and LanguageCert Academic are designed for candidates who are not native speakers of English and who wish to achieve a high quality, internationally recognised qualification in English that is available and recognised worldwide. They are suitable for candidates who are preparing for entry to higher education, or professional employment in the UK or elsewhere. Both qualifications reference the descriptions of language proficiency in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The levels in the CEFR have been mapped to the levels in the Regulated Qualifications Framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (See: Pathways to Proficiency: the alignment of language proficiency scales for assessing competence in English Language DFES / QCA, 2003).
LanguageCert General and LanguageCert Academic measure proficiency in the same way, to the same scale, using the same task types. The two tests have been designed and developed according to the same standard procedures. The test delivery processes and scoring methods are identical.
Students entering university for undergraduate or postgraduate study require general academic language proficiency and skills. General (i.e. non discipline specific) academic language proficiency and skills refer to the type of language that students are exposed to during their first year(s) at university, in college foundational levels, or on pathway programmes. These proficiencies and skills include, for example, understanding generic academic vocabulary relevant to most domains; aspects of academic expression (e.g. formality of style) used across common academic tasks (e.g. writing essays, giving presentations); understanding textual conventions typically used in higher education; oral presentation skills; the ability to locate specific information; infer views and standpoints which may not always be overtly stated; note-taking; and critical thinking skills (including identifying and formulating arguments).
The overall objective of the LanguageCert Academic qualification is to provide candidates with a qualification that they can use primarily for entrance purposes to higher education institutions running English-medium courses in English-speaking countries, and in countries where English is not a first language but where the ability to speak, write and understand verbal and written general academic English is required. The qualification is suitable for:
• non-native speakers of English who:
o are 17 years of age or older
o wish to acquire an internationally recognised certification of their English language competence
o wish to undertake an undergraduate or postgraduate course of study at an English-speaking university or college and require evidence of their English proficiency;
• universities and colleges that:
o need to establish the English language level of students to evaluate their ability to follow their chosen course of study
o wish to offer students a test which will provide them with an internationally recognised certification of their English language competence;
• employers who:
o wish to identify the English language level of their applicants
o require an internationally recognised certification as part of their hiring process.
LanguageCert Academic is stringently assessed against the criteria as detailed in the syllabus. Test takers receive a score on the Global Scale per skill (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking) and an overall score and CEFR level.
More specifically, the test taker receives a score on the LanguageCert Global Scale (0–100), derived from and directly related to the LanguageCert Item Difficulty (LID) scale. The LID scale is used to measure and record the difficulty values of all items. The Global Scale (0–100) is aligned to the six levels (A1–C2) of foreign language mastery as set out in the scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
LanguageCert’s General and Academic tests measure all four skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Both report performance across a range of CEFR levels and score against the LanguageCert Global Scale (from 0 to 100).
All Examiners are approved by LanguageCert and undergo rigorous and frequent training and standardisation, to ensure that grades are awarded strictly in accordance with CEFR levels and LanguageCert examination requirements.
LanguageCert Academic and LanguageCert General are directly calibrated to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference produced by the Council of Europe. The Global Scale links to the LID scale and thereby the CEFR levels. In turn, this means that performance on LanguageCert tests is directly comparable to exams by other English language testing organisations.
Results are reported for performance in each skill and overall. Therefore, a candidate is not only described as having, for example, 'B2 ability', but a more precise level of detail is provided via scores on the LanguageCert Global Scale.
All exams are externally set by LanguageCert and are assessed by a group of approved trained markers who are regularly standardised and benchmarked against the CEFR. Results issuance follows a stringent process which ensures consistency and objectivity of assessment and reliable scores.
Ofqual recognition LanguageCert is an Awarding Organisation recognised and regulated by Ofqual. Ofqual is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England. Ofqual is independent of government and reports directly to the UK Parliament. UK Home Office recognition LanguageCert is authorized by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), to deliver Home Office approved, Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) in the UK and globally. UKVI is the part of the Home Office which runs the UK’s visa service. LanguageCert Academic is a secure, reliable, trusted and attractive choice for candidates applying for UK visas where English language ability must be demonstrated.
LanguageCert’s International English Qualifications (IEQs) are quality English language exams recognised by employers, educational institutions and professional bodies worldwide for both academic progression and employment.
The tasks are sufficiently universal to suit all language learning styles and preparation methods. Exam content authentically replicates real-life general academic English in use. LanguageCert makes use of several methods, including human vetting and statistical analysis, in an effort to minimise bias.