Validating the exam

Ethos

The Euro Examination Centre aspires to unite the expertise of communicative language teaching with the communicative criteria of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages [CEFR] in order to design examinations which promote and assess real-world communicative skills. 
 
We believe that for most everyday users of foreign languages the ability to communicate is more important than a theoretical knowledge of the systems of language. To implement this approach, the Euro Examination Centre provides standardised assessment tools that aim to test students’ success in real communication. Our vision is that students look forward to the chance of demonstrating their language skills in motivating and exciting contexts, and in fair and challenging tests. 
 
We take special care to design tests which have a positive washback effect on teaching. We believe that Euroexams and other tests developed by the Euro Examination Centre help to promote a task-oriented view of language learning, and thereby encourage higher quality teaching by requiring teachers to use a communicative syllabus with clearly stated targets. 
 
The Euro Examination Centre promotes quality in language teaching and the development of new initiatives by working together with a wide network of testing centres and partner organisations in Europe and beyond in organising training courses, publishing test and training materials and in delivering standardised assessment tools for the communicative classroom.

International Advisory Board

The International Advisory Board provides Euroexam management with strategic advice on issues which are relevant both to its present activities and future development and to support its widening operations in Europe, the Russian Federation and Central Asia.

Members of the Advisory Board bring a broad range of expertise and experience in business and language teaching and assessment to contribute to various aspects of professional and strategic development. Members of the Board are:

  • Norman Verhelst (Specialist in Psychometrics, Senior Researcher/CITO The Netherlands, Assistant Professor/Utrecht University)
  • Garth Emrich (Strategic Management Advisor and Director at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management)
  • Keith Watts (Verba International, former representative of City & Guilds exams in Russia)
  • Glyn Jones (Consultant in Language Learning and Assessment, formerly Senior Researcher at Pearson Language Tests)

The International Advisory Board meets in London twice a year in the presence of the Managing Director and other invited senior staff.

Register for the exam

Anyone over 14 years of age can register for a Euroexam.

If you would like to register, write an email to us and we will be happy to send you a Registration Form.

Exam dates are subject to variation depending on the country where you wish to sit the exam. We will assist you with selecting a suitable exam date and location.

You can take your Euroexam at exam centres in the following countries:

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Training Services

The Euro Examination Centre established a teacher training department in 2002, which undertook the training of examiners and of teachers preparing their students for the Euroexams. Since 2002, 450 examiners have been trained, and over 500 have participated in accredited teacher training courses. The Euro Examination Centre also offers workshops and short training courses on the background and practical aspects of the CEFR for teachers of English, German and other languages.

Currently, the following training opportunities are available to teachers of English:

  • Euro Teacher Training course (30 hours) – we recommend this course to teachers who wish to gain more of an insider’s view of the exams and share and learn about some useful preparation ideas
  • Oral Examiner Training (30 hours) – we recommend this course to teachers who wish to be trained up as official examiners (both interlocutor and assessor) for Euroexam
  • Webinars that focus on specific exam skills (2 hours each):
    • Writing
    • Speaking
    • Listening & Reading
  • Webinars on effective dictionary use in learning and during the exam (2 hours)
  • Webinars that offer practical ideas for preparing students for the Euroexam (2 hours)

Interested? Please contact us at londonoffice@euroexam.co.uk

Quality assurance and Exam security

Test production

Live test materials are written according to the detailed test specifications by a team of trained item writers. Material writing is commissioned on the basis of a running exam calendar, always ensuring that an ample period (a minimum of two months) is allotted to quality control before administration.

Before test materials are incorporated into live exams they are moderated by expert judges and also undergo pretesting. These pretests are administered to a sample of at least 50 secondary school students. The data provide the basis for the initial statistical analyses, where items with extreme properties are excluded from further use. Following this quality control process, items are finalised for use in live examinations. Finalised tasks are then stored securely on designated offline internal servers on Euroexam premises.

The construction of live exam papers is guided by the following principles:

  • expert judgment and pre-test analysis are applied in order to target appropriate level of difficulty
  • a varied coverage of different topic areas is ensured across all papers of the test
  • it is ensured that exams always follow the same format and tasks progress from simpler to more complex in the papers where this is relevant

Another crucial element of test assembly is the inclusion of anchor tasks. These tasks enable the exam development team to gain more information about the test and the test takers, and they are also an indispensable element of the regular post-hoc statistical analysis. Euroexam has a sizeable bank of calibrated items, and common tasks are selected based on item quality and difficulty. For the sake of test security, no item is reused within a period of 365 days. Statistical test equating ensures that the standard is the same through different testlets.

Test security and delivery

Apart from test production and marking, the delivery of the test materials is a vital part of the process to ensure that the exam is administered in a manner that is fair to all candidates. Test packs are delivered by secure post or courier and all exam centres are required to follow a stringent security policy. Secure storage facilities are subject to regular inspections by the Euro Examination Centre in each exam period.

The conduct of the exams is governed by a detailed set of standardised regulations. Our partners who provide exam locations are responsible for all related administrative tasks and providing appropriate facilities and the necessary personnel. Exam invigilators at all locations must successfully complete a training before they can be employed in this role.

Exam marking

In order to maintain the highest possible level of professionalism in the assessment of candidates’ work, all written papers are returned to the Euroexam Centre and are then randomly allocated to markers. Each subjectively marked paper is assessed by two trained (standardised) markers, who score the papers separately (blind double marking in all cases).

Validating the exam

The Euroexams are validated through a variety of methods and the collaboration of both in-house and independent experts in language assessment, psychometrics and language pedagogy. These methods comprise compulsory post-hoc statistical test analyses, problem-specific task groups, research projects and biannual reviews, which all feed into our longer-term quality management process that guarantees the value and relevance of the exams. 

Each exam administration is linked to our calibrated item bank through the use of common tasks, which produces directly comparable results and stable standard requirements. Beyond the level of the administration, the test specifications were also developed in complete accordance with the CEFR, so that the blueprint itself is aligned with the Framework.