Walailak University joined EnglishScore’s Approved Partner Programme during the pandemic to provide a digital and remote solution to English testing for their students and staff. Since then, we’ve continued to support their admissions and graduation testing as well as their recruitment and hiring of new lecturers to the faculty.
That means thousands of EnglishScore tests have been taken by students and staff at Walailak University since the partnership began.
We spoke to Junifer Leal, Head of Languages Department and School of Languages and General Education at the university, who explained why they chose EnglishScore and how their students and staff have benefited from our digital English language test and certificate.
English language assessment at Walailak University
Walailak University offers English courses as part of the curriculum for first and second year students. The Languages Department is responsible for assessing and grouping all incoming students – as well as conducting the lessons – but also measuring their progress at the end of the second year.
Regardless of their background, we assess students with a placement test, then we group them according to their level. Throughout the course we develop their English so they reach a certain level by the end of their second year. For example, students with a B1 level will aim to reach B2 level at the end of their course.
A verified and authentic remote English test
We were using an internal test before we tried EnglishScore. The pandemic made conducting face-to-face exams challenging, if not impossible, which led the faculty to search for a digital, remote way to accurately test and measure English proficiency.
It was the accuracy of EnglishScore’s results that helped inform my decision. I tried other examinations, I have even compared the results of other exams, but I found EnglishScore more relevant in terms of showing students’ real level and English proficiency.
I went to the council at the University and told them how the test operates. It was easy to convince them once I explained that it is verified and authenticates the test taker with photos.
EnglishScore fits in with the criteria set by the university and our department – it’s a standardised, verified and authentic test, which is why we use it as our placement and exit exam.
A more practical and efficient way to measure English proficiency
EnglishScore allows Walailak University to conduct English tests in a more practical and convenient way for the students and also our lecturers.
For example if we needed to test 3,500 students we’d need rooms, we’d also need to hire people to invigilate and to print papers and mark them. EnglishScore provides a more efficient way to implement our test.
EnglishScore is even used in the recruitment of staff. We recommended that every lecturer who applies to work for us should have an English proficiency score. We ask them to take EnglishScore as part of our application requirements.
Fast results with real-time monitoring
The feedback from Walailak University staff is positive. We like that the dashboard gives fast, online results – meaning we can avoid many of the high-cost and lengthy tasks (like paying invigilators, hiring rooms, printing papers and marking) involved in face-to-face tests.
Usually we would have to gather exam papers, prepare answer sheets and extract results for each student and typically it can take 2-3 days to turn around results.
Now we can monitor straight away how many students have taken the test and we can download the results. Multiple colleagues can also view and verify results at the same time.
From a personal perspective, I enjoy the practicality of the examination itself – it can be taken anywhere, anytime. Certificates can also be downloaded anytime and it’s cost efficient compared to other tests out there.