Researching lexical thresholds and lexical profiles across the common European framework of reference for languages (CEFR) levels assessed in the Aptis test

This project uses automated analysis software ( to research the lexical and metadiscourse thresholds, and lexical and metadiscourse profiles, of test-takers’ writing in the British Council's Aptis Writing test, benchmarked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Large quantities of Aptis writing responses (n=6,407), representing 65 countries, together with their score data, were analysed in terms of their use of lexis and metadiscourse. Measures and datasets used in the analysis include standard readability measures, the British National Corpus, the Corpus of Contemporary American English, English Vocabulary profile, the Academic Word List, and a bespoke corpus of metadiscourse markers. The purpose of the research is to enhance the validation argument for the Aptis test through large-scale profiling of candidates’ writing performance.