Global English test IELTS has rolled out a new biometric identity authentication system that will incorporate a finger scan and high resolution photo of all test takers in jurisdictions where it is permitted. The company said that governments had welcomed the security upgrade and test-takers appreciated the swifter process.
Industry giant Pearson has launched new exam test centres for its Pearson Test of English Academic centres (PTE Academic) in a number of key student source markets in collaboration with international schools and education agencies, in a clear move to work at the heart of the supply chain in international education.
The number of US private high schools using the iTEP’s SLATE exam for admissions has increased by 300% in a year, its owners claim with the test apparently filling a “vacuum” left by the now retired ETS SLEP exam. 135 schools now recognise the SLATE, which is used to assess how international students will integrate in their classes.
A record two million International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests were taken worldwide over the last 12 months, representing an 11% rise. The US was singled out for mention as a growth market – a shot across TOEFL’s bows given that test’s dominance in the American market.
An increasing number of universities in Finland are demanding a high level of English language skills according to a study by Cambridge English Language Assessment. Figures showed an increase of 15 organisations that now require the CEA exam for students to enter degree courses.
In a sign that demand for US education will remain strong this year in China, the number of Chinese taking the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is expected to exceed 40,000 this year – up from 20,000 in 2010 and just 200 in 2003. Most of the top US universities require a candidate to have an SAT score. The number of Chinese students at US universities climbed 23% this year.
All 70,000 English language teachers working in Malaysia will have to pass the Cambridge Placement Test within two years it was announced by the Ministry of Education earlier last month. It is hoped the move will transform the education system in the country to produce more globally competitive students.
UK prime minister, David Cameron, has expanded Brazil’s Science without Borders scholarship programme in the UK to include pre-sessional English courses, following reports students were being turned away after failing English entry tests. Along with additional PhD funding the courses will be worth an extra £20 million to the UK.
ELT exam giant Cambridge ESOL is to boost its reach in China in a tie-up with a leading provider of computer-based testing in the country. The agreement aims to meet the growing demand for computer-based exams in China, with ATA delivering “millions” of exams across its network. More than 300 million Chinese are now thought to study English.
The iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency), a relatively new player in the EFL test market, is to deliver 15,000 exams this year with the Saudi Arabian government in a sign of its growing presence in the region.