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PTE Academic Employs Technology To Improve Test Marking Efficiency

Computer-based tests evaluate the skills, knowledge, and aptitude of the test takers

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Pearson India is trying to make the process of taking exams hassle-free for learners through PTE Academic, a technology-enabled testing ideal for the test-takers to score better.

Freya Thomas Monk, SVP English Assessment, Pearson talks about the evolution of computer-based testing and its acceptance in education institutions.

How do computer-based tests improve accuracy and are better for students?

Computer-based tests are both taken on and marked through a computer, using cutting-edge test design and automated scoring technologies to evaluate the skills, knowledge, and aptitude of the test takers. 

PTE Academic is a much more convenient and flexible test to take than a paper-based test as it can be booked up to 24 hours in advance, offering test-takers various options across the globe for when and where to take the test. Computer-marked tests are highly accurate across the scale and treat every test-taker the same, irrespective of where they come from or what they look like. 

Do you think using computers for assessment will help test-takers?

Yes, it will help test-takers since human marking can be influenced by a range of factors, particularly when only one person is marking the test taker’s performance. Computer-based testing is impartial and reliable, accurately measuring across the four skills giving valuable granular insight as to the test-takers' abilities and aptitude. Moreover, computer-assisted testing technology greatly increases the efficiency and speed of scoring exams, thereby decreasing the turnaround time required for the test taker to receive scores.

India has become a key player in international student mobility. What does this mean for PTE Academic?

It is a well-known fact that many Indian students go abroad for study and over the years India has been a major driver of growth in overall mobility. As per the data shared by the government, there are an estimated 5.53 lakh Indian students studying in 86 different countries. Since Indians are increasingly looking toward foreign shores for higher education as well as work, English language proficiency becomes an integral part of the planning. PTE Academic tests all levels of English proficiency.

Furthermore, we have invested heavily in digital, biometric and forensic security measures, driving up the standards in high-stakes testing so that governments and universities can believe in PTE Academic. 

Why is PTE Academic ideal for the test-takers? How are you using technology such as AI to help test-takers?

PTE Academic uses technology to ensure score reliability and integrity of the testing process. Test developers from Pearson are incorporating solutions from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and using machine learning to build systems and algorithms which accurately and speedily assess a person’s speech or samples of their writing. Our computer- based marking ensures that all test takers are scored impartially and accurately. Additionally, to ensure test score validity, all PTE Academic test centres use state-of-the-art digital biometrics incorporating palm-scanning, secure paperless results, randomized test formats, and CCTV.

Can you please share the exam pattern? Is there any training programme or course that prepares the candidate for the PTE Academic test?

The PTE Academic exam comprises of 3 parts which are covered in a single, three-hour session. During the three-hour test session, there will be three main parts to the test: speaking and writing, listening and reading. There are twenty different question formats, ranging from multiple choice to essay writing and interpreting information. 

Test-takers can prepare for PTE Academic using a range of official course books and preparation options. One can also refer to online Scored Practice Test on Pearson’s website and take an online course with E2Language, Pearson’s online test preparation partner.

What are your future plans for PTE Academic? How do you want to expand in India? 

PTE Academic has expanded rapidly since it started in 2009, becoming an increasingly popular choice for those looking to study and work abroad. In November the Australian Government renewed the contract for PTE Academic to be accepted for all work visas and we are accepted by 100 percent of Australian, New Zealand, and Irish universities and 96 percent of UK universities.

Our future plans are to continue to expand globally, get more recognition by universities and colleges in India, the USA, Europe and the Middle East on board, for instance. We will also build on our 270 + global test centre network. This summer we opened 9 state of the art test across India and we will look to continue to build more in the country as necessary to meet local demand

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