TR/2015/004 Aptis for Teens: Analysis of Pilot Test Data

Ying Zheng and Vivien Berry. This report analyses data from trials of a new variant within the Aptis test system, Aptis for Teens. This variant has been designed within the same frame of reference as Aptis General and operationalises the same core concepts of flexibility and efficiency for learners aged 13 – 15 years for whom English is a second or foreign language. The approach taken has been to work within the explicit model of validation which underpins the Aptis test system and to make use of the measurement scale and test specifications validated for Aptis General, while at the same time creating a version relevant for young learners in the target age group. 

Following an expression of interest from schools and education ministries in using the Aptis test with younger learners, and in an attempt to prevent inappropriate uses of Aptis General, the Aptis for Teens variant has been developed to cater for candidates in the age range 13 – 15 years.

The Target Language Use domain (TLU) of Aptis for Teens is primarily EFL/ESL contexts in which English is studied at school and/or in language learning programmes outside school. An important use of the target language for these learners is as a subject of study or as a medium of instruction to study other subjects. 

The tasks in Aptis for Teens follow the format of Aptis General. Grammar and Vocabulary is offered as a core component in combination with the other skills of Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing, as required by the user institution. The task format across all components makes use of the computer delivery mode to utilise a range of response formats, and to approximate real-life language use situations that young learners may encounter online. Task parameters such as topic, genre and the intended audience are designed to be relevant to the TLU domain and target test-takers, and are made explicit to help contextualise tasks.