English is an important part of the curriculum for all students at Universitas Surabaya, one of the highest-ranked universities in East Java, Indonesia. It is a mandatory subject for first-semester students and those with lower competency receive English tutoring to build up their skills.
To help prepare students for their courses and employment post-studies, the University needs an efficient and formalised process for testing the English level of thousands of incoming and exiting students.
The Languages Faculty at the University first adopted EnglishScore in 2021 as a digital solution to facilitate remote English testing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We spoke to the Head of Languages Department, Devi Rachmasari and students and graduates at UBAYA to understand how EnglishScore’s mobile English test and certificate is helping her faculty and students achieve their goals.
Devi’s role at the University is to oversee the learning and testing of communicative English, as well as to coordinate foreign language courses. She explains that the pandemic was the main reason behind her faculty’s decision to search for a digital, remote solution to English assessment.
“We were unable to test and measure students’ English level effectively remotely. We needed to continue assessing students when our face-to-face examinations were not possible.”
However, Devi’s concerns with remote English testing were around security and cheating because, prior to the pandemic, they were using an in-person English proficiency test created by the University.
After piloting the EnglishScore assessment, Devi realised they could gather fair and accurate results remotely due to EnglishScore’s in-built security measures and anti-cheating technology powered by AI.
“EnglishScore minimises cheating, it’s accessible for students and its Certificate is internationally recognised.”
The combination of mobile delivery and AI-based proctoring helped them to deliver a secure and accurate English test that their students could access easily.
Since adopting EnglishScore, the University has tested 2,500 students and issued 2,000 British Council EnglishScore Certificates.
What started as a temporary solution to support remote testing during the pandemic soon resulted in a long-term partnership as Devi and her team at the Language Centre quickly became aware of the cost and resource-saving benefits of EnglishScore for the faculty.
“We realised we can avoid the administrative costs of in-person testing, whilst achieving the same level of accuracy. The students can access the test from their mobile and all marking is handled digitally. Because of this, we’re able to redirect budget and staff resources to other key areas of the faculty.”
She also found her students were benefitting from the accessibility of the test and its globally recognised certificate: “The EnglishScore Certificate is beneficial for the students because it is widely used at a national and international level.”
Cynthia, a Pharmacy student at the University of Surabaya, explains that “EnglishScore is convenient to use because we can access the test anywhere, and the duration of the test isn’t very long.”
While Berliana, a graduate of UBAYA now working as a Legal Officer, explains she found EnglishScore to be a very user-friendly application:
“I could do the test at home, the scoring process is quick and I could easily find out my score.”
She adds: “EnglishScore helped me to get a job because I put it on my CV.”
A remote digital solution to English testing
UBAYA found that EnglishScore was a reliable and secure option for remote English assessment during the pandemic, but also saw considerable savings in staff time and administrative costs, as well as the benefits to its students. Going forward, EnglishScore will be used as the definitive English assessment for exit exams.
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