Test Manual

For use with Forms 4, 5, and 6 only

Listening. Learning. Leading.

Secondary Level English Proficiency Test

The SLEP® Test Manual has been prepared for guidance counselors, English-as-a-secondlanguage teachers, department chairs, evaluation specialists, foreign student advisors, admissions officers, and others responsible for interpreting SLEP scores. In addition to providing information about score interpretation, the Manual describes the test program and includes instructions for administering the test. Note: This manual is to be used with Forms 4, 5, and 6 only. SLEP and TOEFL The Test of English as a Foreign Language® (TOEFL®) is generally taken by nonnative speakers of English who wish to study at colleges and universities in the United States or Canada, whereas the SLEP test is designed to assess the English proficiency of nonnative speakers at the secondary school level around the world. The SLEP test is not a substitute for the TOEFL test; it contains different types of questions and has a lower difficulty level. Although a relationship may exist between performance on the SLEP test and the TOEFL test, the two are not equivalent measures to be used interchangeably, nor should performance on the SLEP test be used to predict performance on the TOEFL test.

Your questions, comments, and/or suggestions will be most welcome. Please contact us by
Mail: Educational Testing Service SLEP Inquiries PO Box 6156 Princeton, NJ 08541-6156, USA 609-771-7206 609-771-7835 slep@ets.org www.ets.org/slep

Phone: Fax: E-mail: Web site:

Business hours are 8:30 AM–4:30 PM, Monday–Friday, New York time

Educational Testing Service® (ETS®) is a sponsor of the SLEP test and administers it within the Test of English as a Foreign Language program, which is under the direction of a policy board that was established by, and is affiliated with, the College Board® and the Graduate Record Examinations® Board.

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Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logos, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., Graduate Record Examinations, SLEP, and TOEFL are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service. College Board is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board. Educational Testing Service is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Table of Contents
OVERVIEW OF THE SLEP PROGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Purpose and Use of the Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Technical Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GENERAL INFORMATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Administering the SLEP Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ordering Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Materials Provided by the SLEP Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5 5 5 6 6 6 6 6

SAMPLE QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Section 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Section 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ADMINISTERING THE TEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Test Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Receipt of Test Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Assistants to the Person Administering the Test. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Testing Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Equipment Needed for the Test Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Equipment Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Testing Individuals With Disabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Instructions for Administering the SLEP Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . If You Are Giving The Test In Two Sessions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 17 17 17 17 17 18 18 18 19 21

SCORING THE ANSWER SHEETS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 INTERPRETING SLEP SCORES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scaled Scores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Percentile Ranks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Score Conversion Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Percentile Ranks Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 23 23 24 27

ADDITIONAL FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN USING SLEP SCORES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Confidentiality of Scores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Local Validation Studies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

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and exposure to English. The multiple-choice format was chosen primarily to ensure reliability of results through standardization of administrations and to eliminate reliance on the subjective judgments of raters. literary analysis. and a literary passage followed by questions on its content. The SLEP program encourages use of the test scores by an institution or organization if such use will assist it in making valid decisions. Interpretive data provided in this manual and in the technical supplement permit comparisons between students with similar characteristics such as age. It is designed for use with students entering grades seven through twelve or community colleges whose native language is one other than English. The SLEP test is not an aptitude test or a measure of academic achievement. with respect to both the language skills it measures and its level of difficulty. The choice of material for the SLEP test was based on an analysis of actual materials designed for use in American classrooms (grades 7–12). Of the many types considered. score the answer sheets. language background. see Stansfield (1984). some questions are based on conversations that take place in various parts of a school and deal with events that occur in each location.Overview of the Secondary Level English Proficiency (SLEP) Program Description The SLEP test is norm referenced. and interpret the scores. The first task in designing the test was to select the overall specifications and types of questions to be used. the test can be used to help make these decisions at any time of the year. This program enables schools to purchase the test. the four types of questions all use recorded samples of spoken English to test listening comprehension and do not rely heavily on written material. three equivalent versions of the SLEP test are available for use when it is advisable to use a different edition of the test for testing the same group of students more than once. in terms of its own requirements. particularly the conversations used in the Listening Comprehension section. The test is divided into two sections. In the case of some questions. The SLEP test was developed by staff at Educational Testing Service with the advice and assistance of a committee of examiners composed of secondary school ESL teachers with extensive experience teaching English to adolescent students. are based on written or visual materials. three multiple-choice cloze passages. administer it to their own applicants and students. Section 2 includes written questions based on a cartoon. 5 . The four question types in the second section. the institution or organization should determine whether the SLEP test is appropriate. Knowledge of specific subject matter is not tested. nor can it provide information about the various social and psychological factors that must be considered along with language ability in making admissions and placement decisions. SLEP score users are invited to consult with SLEP program staff about their current or intended uses of the test results. written questions based on line drawings. Purpose and Use of the Test A basic assumption underlying the SLEP test is that language ability is a critical factor in determining the degree to which secondary students can benefit from instruction. Thus. However. and must establish its own levels of acceptable performance on the test. every effort was made to use situations representative of those encountered by students in American secondary schools. they must be able to understand what is being said (by both teachers and fellow students) and to understand both formal and informal material written in English. The Secondary Level English Proficiency (SLEP) test measures English language ability in two primary areas: understanding spoken English and understanding written English. eight were chosen. or linguistic terminology. For additional information about the content validity and development of SLEP. concerning English language proficiency. Users can therefore compare student results with those of other students in similar situations. each containing four types of questions. the results of the test can be very helpful in evaluating ESL teaching programs and making placement decisions related to the following: ● assignment to ESL classes ● placement in a mainstream English-medium program ● exemption from a bilingual program ● evaluation of students’ English proficiency upon completion of ESL programs Because institutions can administer the test when they choose and have the results available immediately. Reading Comprehension. Prior to final assembly of the test. Conversations may also deal with extracurricular activities and academic subjects. This section also measures vocabulary and grammar. all questions were extensively pretested in pilot administrations. The SLEP test is available to secondary schools and community colleges worldwide for on-campus testing. and there are no questions that rely on literary knowledge. Currently. For the first section. grade. to succeed. Test questions in both sections of the SLEP test are based on information presented in or easily inferred from the questions or from the associated passages or pictures. However. Only those questions meeting rigid requirements for levels of difficulty and discrimination power were accepted for use in final editions of the test.

The answer sheets included in the basic test materials package are printed in two-ply sets.95 .6 Total Test Reliability . and Form 6. to individuals or to groups.2 General Information Administering the SLEP Test The SLEP test can be administered in its entirety or in two separate sessions. To ensure prompt and accurate filling and delivery of orders. A basic test material package is available for Form 4. ETS reserves the right to accept or reject orders for SLEP testing materials in whole or in part. 6 .90 SEM 1. Reliabilities and standard errors of measurement (SEM) for each section of the test. Thus. the teacher can simply count the number of marks that coincide with the preprinted correct response pattern to determine the examinee’s raw score.94 . Form 5. All SLEP testing materials are copyrighted by Educational Testing Service and may not be reproduced in any way without the written consent of ETS.94 SEM 1. After administering the test. Detailed instructions for administering the SLEP test are on pages 19-22.3 2.8 1. An incomplete or unsigned order form will not be processed and will be returned to the sender. educational consultants. the students use a test book and mark their answers on a separate answer sheet. which retains the test materials. Important Note: The SLEP test is designed primarily for use by accredited secondary educational institutions. please refer to the technical supplement. and 1 CD recording of the Listening Comprehension questions (institutions must provide their own CD players). the SLEP office will approve purchase and use of the testing materials by post-secondary institutions. and others engaged in legitimate testing activities.95 . Each package contains 20 test books.6 1. available upon request from the SLEP office. all information requested on the order form must be provided.1 2. Under certain circumstances.91 . 100 two-ply answer sheets. The first ply provides the four-choice answer response ovals to be used by the examinees to mark their answer choices.5 as well as the total test.Technical Data The reliability of each form of SLEP has been estimated using an internal-consistency measure of reliability. are provided below. Section One Listening Comprehension Form 4 5 6 Reliability . training agencies. however. 1 SLEP Test Manual with instructions for administering the test and interpreting the results. The two copies allow for multiple records of an examinee’s performance. Section Two Reading Comprehension Reliability . Ordering Information Each order for SLEP testing materials must be submitted on a SLEP order form and sent to the address on the form. one copy of the answer sheet may be kept by the teacher. The second ply contains only the ovals for the correct responses. For a further discussion of these and other statistical characteristics of the SLEP forms. The answer indicated by an examinee on the first ply automatically registers on the second ply. This includes time for students to answer the practice questions that are provided for every question type. Materials Provided by the SLEP Program The SLEP test is scored by the administering institution. ETS does not offer a scoring service. for example.4 1. Each of the items in the basic package can also be ordered separately. It must be received at ETS at least three weeks before the requested delivery date. Cronbach’s coefficient alpha. and one in the student’s permanent records. For both sections of the test.96 SEM 2.93 .88 . The time required for the entire test is approximately 85 minutes (just under 40 minutes for Section 1 and 45 minutes for Section 2).5 1. the teacher removes the first ply of the answer sheet set.

tense. On CD: (A) (B) (C) (D) She’s looking out of the car window. prepositions. On CD: (A) (B) (C) (D) They are taking off their sandals. No one is looking at the computer. On CD: Look at the picture marked number 3. On CD: Look at the picture marked number 2. She’s rolling up the window. sound clusters. and vocabulary. They are standing against the wall. with four different types of questions. She’s driving on the highway. juncture. This part contains items dealing with correct recognition of minimal-pair contrasts. 1. They are dancing in a circle. 3 7 . 1 2. Actual pictures in the test book are larger than the samples in this manual. They’re putting a computer into a box. The sentences are spoken only once and are not printed in the test book. Part A For the first type of question. She’s opening the car door. They are putting hats in a box. On CD: Look at the picture marked number 1.Sample Questions Section 1 The first section of the SLEP test measures ability to understand spoken English and is about 40 minutes long. One of the girls is pointing to the screen. the student must match one of four recorded sentences with a picture in the test book. Sample Questions Note: Pictures are for illustrative purposes only. stress. It is divided into four parts. On CD: (A) (B) (C) (D) The boy is typing on the keyboard. 2 3.

4 Part B These questions approximate the type of dictation exercises used frequently in English language classes: the student must match a sentence printed in the test book with a sentence heard on the CD. Jorge’s piano lesson is over. The table is filled with cakes and pies. On CD: (A) (B) (C) (D) The flowers are growing outside. Once it’s cold the plants won’t grow any taller. Jorge played the piano when he came over. On CD: The taller plants keep growing all summer long. Those tall plants should be cut back when it’s warm. By the summer those plants will be much taller.4. Jorge comes over less often since he started playing the piano. Sample Questions 1. In the test book: (A) (B) (C) (D) Jorge can’t come over because he has a piano lesson. On CD: Is it too warm to wear a coat? In the test book: (A) (B) (C) (D) Aren’t you going to bring your coat? Why didn’t I bring my coat? Doesn’t that coat look warm? Is it too warm to wear a coat? 3. On CD: Jorge can’t come over because he has a piano lesson. In the test book: (A) (B) (C) (D) 2. 8 . The taller plants keep growing all summer long. The table has been cleared off. On CD: Look at the picture marked number 4. but he’s still not coming over. The questions focus on the relationship between structure and meaning. Someone has eaten all the cake.

The storm did a lot of damage along the beach.4. Sample Questions 1. On CD: (Narrator) (Boy) (Girl) (Boy) (Narrator) Listen for the answer to the following question. but right before the bell rang she changed the assignment to the first twelve problems. The questions and answers are printed in the test book. That’s what the teacher said at the beginning of class. Many people had already left the beach before the storm. The questions are given before the talks begin. Did you figure out the answer to problem number ten in the math homework? Number ten? I thought we were only supposed to do the first eight problems. For each question. allowing students to direct their attention to listening for the correct answer. What did the girl think the homework assignment was for math class? In the test book: What did the girl think the homework assignment was for math class? (A) (B) (C) (D) Only problem number 10 Problem numbers 1 through 8 Problem numbers 1 through 10 Problem numbers 1 through 12 9 . In the test book: (A) (B) (C) (D) You will have to read that book soon. Most people did not think there would be a storm. You ought to finish that book on time. Part C The questions in this part are based on conversations between students or announcements made by teachers or administrators in a school. You should have allowed more time to finish that book. What did the girl think the homework assignment was for math class? Here is the conversation. You could ask someone if they saw that book. students must choose one of four answers. On CD: Many people had already left the beach before the storm. 5. In the test book: (A) (B) (C) (D) Few people were on the beach during the storm. On CD: You should have allowed more time to finish that book.

All those students who are changing from the number five bus must report to the office sometime during periods four. Actually. I hear you got a job at the music store in the mall. that makes sense. Where is Linda’s new job? In the test book: Where is Linda’s new job? (A) (B) (C) (D) At a music store At a restaurant At a college At a bank 10 . Number 2 Number 3 Number 5 Number 6 On CD: (Narrator) (Boy) (Girl) (Boy) (Girl) (Narrator) Listen for the answer to the following question. Please excuse this interruption.2. The number five bus has a flat tire. I was offered a job at the music store. Hey. Sounds like fun. I thought it would be better to work at a place now that would prepare me for what I want to do in the future. Where is Linda’s new job? Here is the conversation. or six to sign a change-of-bus-route form so that the bus driver will know how many students will be on the bus. Well. There has been a change in the school bus routes this afternoon. right? Exactly. You’re planning to study finance in college. five. On CD: (Narrator) (Man) Listen for the answer to the following question. Which bus will not be running this afternoon? (Narrator) In the test book: Which bus will not be running this afternoon? (A) (B) (C) (D) 3. so all students who normally take the number five bus will take the number two bus today. Linda. Which bus will not be running this afternoon? Here is the announcement. I accepted a job as a teller at the bank.

He was helping a teacher.. Well. To give her a note. You see. He missed the bus. my homeroom teacher had to pack up a bunch of science materials from our unit on electricity.. but I must have left it in Mr. the student must choose one of four answers printed in the test book. I’d better go get it. I thought my notebook was in my backpack. Oh. Jackson was upset. He said it was okay with him if it was okay with me. On CD: (Luisa) (Sam) (Luisa) (Sam) (Narrator) Did Mr. To return her science book. What’s wrong? Well. I can bring them back tomorrow. I know. To the history teacher’s room. all we did was take notes about the Industrial Revolution. I’ll go with you. sure. Jackson say it was okay to miss his class? Yeah—my homeroom teacher called him and asked if he minded. I missed you this morning in history class. For each recorded question. To ask to borrow her notes. Why did Sam miss history class? In the test book: (A) (B) (C) (D) 2. Luisa. To the library. Sample Questions 1. Hi. That’s why I was looking for you. To see if Mr. Why was Sam looking for Luisa? In the test book: (A) (B) (C) (D) 3. The conversations take place in various parts of a school and deal with events that typically occur in each location. Sam. 11 . so she asked me to stick around and help her. On CD: (Sam) (Luisa) (Sam) (Narrator) Hi. I wanted to see if I could look over your notes tonight. That’s not a problem. Where were you? That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I have my notebook right here in my . On CD: (Luisa) (Sam) (Luisa) (Sam) (Narrator) Oh.Part D The questions in this part are based on conversations recorded by American high school students that represent typical secondary school situations. To Luisa’s locker. He was sick. He was doing a science experiment. Jackson’s room. Where are Sam and Luisa going? In the test book: (A) (B) (C) (D) To the lunchroom. uh oh.

I’ll finally have a chance to finish painting the garage. The beach is a perfect place for a relaxing vacation. 4. Sample Questions 1. I’m looking forward to catching up on my reading. 5. 2. Part A For each question in this part. the student must match the reaction of one of four characters in a cartoon with a printed sentence. I can’t wait to try out that new ride at the amusement park. The questions cover grammar. and reading comprehension. I hope we stay at a campground where I can go horseback riding. 12 .Section 2 The second section of the test measures ability to understand written English and is 40 minutes long. vocabulary. There are four parts to Section 2. 3.

the student must match a printed sentence with one of four drawings. adverbs. B C D She is reaching up to get a box off the shelf. One bird is sitting in a tree but two aren’t. B C D They headed for shelter when it started to rain. B C D The bigger circle is in the lower left corner. A 2.Part B For the questions in this part. A 3. The particular focus of this item type is the use of prepositions. A 4. A B C D 13 . Sample Questions 1. and numbers. pronouns.

students must answer questions about the passage above for which they supplied the missing words or phrases. What is the main topic of the passage? (A) (B) (C) (D) Plants that live in the desert Types of desert camels How to make fresh water Surviving with little water 14 . for example. In the second type of question. (A) drink (B) (C) (D) as much as as many as possible when they find water in large quantities. Another way some desert animals deal with a lack of water is to his one’s 5. Some desert-dwelling which why sand water heat food 2. (A) instance. For too much so much that to survive have survived for surviving survive 6. after drinking all they can hold. (A) (B) toads. 3. can take in (C) (D) (A) (B) (C) (D) from dew-soaked soil directly through 4. Some of these animals may never even come upon any type of open (A) water. Sample Questions 7. the student must complete passages by selecting the appropriate words or phrases from a set of four choices printed at intervals in the passage.Part C This part of Section 2 contains two types of questions. Sample Passage and Questions 1. In one. its their skin. (B) (C) (D) so despite they have adopted other ways to obtain it. Most animals (A) (B) (C) (D) live they live in the desert do not take in water from open sources are living that live like lakes or rivers. some camels can (B) (C) (D) more than two weeks in the desert without any more water.

In the morning At noon In the afternoon At night Where was the family going? (A) (B) (C) (D) To the gas station To visit their grandmother Home from the store Back from the park 3. The grandmother is very old. The word “adopted” in line 2 is closest in meaning to (A) (B) (C) (D) attracted developed lost asked about 9. The father tells his story slowly. he began to tell us a story. As we sat sipping our drinks beneath a shady tree. What helps camels survive in the desert? (A) (B) (C) (D) They drink a lot of water at one time when they find it. The baby was crying. What time did the family stop? (A) (B) (C) (D) 2. the student must read a short passage and answer questions about it.8. when they can soak up water from dew. The people who travel with camels pack large amounts of water. 1. Why does the writer mention “years” (line 2)? (A) (B) (C) (D) The family has been driving for a long time. They travel early in the morning. When did the father tell the story? (A) (B) (C) (D) As he was walking After he bought the drinks Before the family sat down When the family returned to the car 15 . Father bought us bottles of something cool to drink. Part D In this part of Section 2. We had left home early that morning and driven for what seemed like years. Now it was noon and the sun overhead was oppressive. What was the weather like? (A) (B) (C) (D) Cold Rainy Windy Hot 4. The writer does not remember what happened. Sample Passage and Questions We stopped to buy gas and to stretch our legs. I wondered if we would ever reach our grandmother’s house. 5. They rest for two weeks before trips in the desert.

C 2. D 7.Answer Key for Sample Questions on Pages 7-15 Section 1 Part A 1. B 4. B 3. C Part B 1. A 3. B 9. C 2. B Section 2 Part A 1. A 4. A Part D 1. B 4. D 4. A 5. D 3. C 5. B 2. D Part D 1. D 3. C 3. D 2. A Part C 1. C 3. D 2. A 4. B 5. D Part C 1. B 2. A 6. C 3. D Part B 1. D 8. A 4. D 5. C 3. B 2. B 2. B 16 .

It explains the planning and arrangements needed for an administration of the SLEP test and provides the directions that are to be read aloud to the students. which should be kept in locked storage when not in use. and any assistants. they should be large enough so students will not have to support them by hand. Seating In devising a seating plan for the administration of the SLEP test. ● Left-handed students should be seated in a separate row or in the last seat of each row of right-handed students. Assistants to the Person Administering the Test The number of assistants needed will depend on the number of students to be tested. the room(s) used for testing should be comfortable and free from distractions. It is important that the proctors follow the instructions precisely to ensure the comparability of scores across test administrations.3 meters) between any two students. Each part of the SLEP test contains sample questions. the testing room will not be left unattended. therefore. It is. If chairs with left-hand tablet arms are not available. Test performance can be affected by the psychological atmosphere of the testing room. If lapboards must be used. no one should have to pick up or shift either one because of lack of space. The sample questions in this manual may also be used to acquaint students with the format of the test. the lighting. Assistants should pay attention to their duties at all times and should not disturb the examinees by pausing too long behind individual students or by talking during the test. After all items in the shipment are checked. ● The person administering the test and any assistants must have unimpeded access to each person being tested. There should always be at least one assistant so that in the event of an emergency. become familiar with the procedures. check the contents of each carton against the shipment notice. Receipt of Test Materials Within 24 hours of receiving the test shipment. and they should be seated so they cannot exchange information or see their neighbors’ responses. essential that the person administering the SLEP test. Students should not be allowed to select their own seats or to change seats after they have been seated.Administering the Test Please read this section carefully before the actual test administration. information. Listening Comprehension. ● On the day of the test. Only authorized personnel should have access to the testing materials. the students should be directed to seats at random (alternating from side to side or from front to back of the room) to avoid any possibility of friends carrying out a pre-arranged cheating scheme. Notify the SLEP program office immediately if any items are missing. Test Security Students to be tested should not have an opportunity to examine a test book before they take the SLEP test. To contribute to an atmosphere conducive to maximum performance. the following guidelines should be considered: ● All examinees should face the same direction. Rooms with acoustical problems should not be used for Section 1. and after the test by: ● checking to see that students have written their names and other identification information correctly on their answer sheets ● walking about the room frequently during the test to guard against cheating and to ensure that every student is working on the appropriate section ● checking to see that the students are marking their answers in the appropriate section of their answer sheets 17 . It is the responsibility of the supervisor to maintain the security of the test materials at all times. even after the test has been administered. and ventilation should be satisfactory. Testing Room The test may be administered in a classroom or language laboratory. There should be at least 4 feet (1. Assistants should help the person administering the test before. during. reseal the carton with tape and lock the testing materials in a secure storage area. each left-handed student should be seated with a vacant chair to his or her left. Writing surfaces are important. All chairs in a row must be directly behind those in the preceding row. They should be large enough to accommodate both a test book and an answer sheet. heat. and instructions given in this manual before the day of the test.

plug the speaker wire into the earphone jack on the CD player. answer sheets. it is essential that the playback equipment be in working order. and/or a personal interview or evaluation are suggested in lieu of SLEP scores. Testing Individuals With Disabilities The SLEP program office recommends that alternative methods of evaluating English language proficiency be used for individuals who cannot take the SLEP test under standard conditions. SEATING PLANS: X = EXAMINEE Plan IA: level seating X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 4' X 6' or less X X X X X Plan IB: level seating X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 4' X 4' X 4' X 4' X X X X X X X X X Plan II: elevated seating X X X Equipment Preparation Because a script for the Listening Comprehension section is not provided with the test materials. in the case of hearing impairment. Checklist — Materials: Purchased from ETS SLEP Test Manual. If an institution receives a request to test individuals with disabilities. erasers. External speakers of radio and other stereo equipment can usually be used for this purpose. and computing scores Test books Answer sheets CD for the Listening Comprehension section Note: Check that the test books. and a pencil sharpener 18 . if necessary (i. you may have to postpone the administration. Most CD players are equipped with an earphone jack. (Depending on when the defect is discovered.e.Sample seating plans are shown below. a separate speaker not built into the CD player. If the playback equipment works well but the actual test recording is not satisfactory the first time it is used. and CD are for the same form. The following checklists should be used to ensure that everything needed is available. An external loudspeaker should always be used if more than 15 students are to be tested. soft-lead pencils. To connect the external speaker. scoring the answer sheets. Playback equipment for the Listening Comprehension section — a CD player that reproduces sound with minimum distortion Loudspeakers to improve audibility. Criteria such as past academic record (especially if English has been the language of instruction). if more than 15 are tested) Several black. the examinee may be able to take only the reading comprehension section. with instructions for administering the test. recommendations from language teachers or others familiar with the applicant’s English proficiency. There should always be at least two timepieces in each testing room as a check against mistiming. the test administrators should ensure the student is provided with reasonable accommodations. print “defective” on the label and return the CD to ETS with a letter describing the defect.. 4' Plan III: tables More than 12' Equipment Needed for the Test Administration The materials needed to administer the SLEP test include those purchased from ETS and those supplied by the institution administering the test. For example.) It is usually helpful to use an external loudspeaker — that is. Examples of reasonable accommodations include: ● extended testing time (all tests are timed) ● additional rest breaks ● writer/recorder of answers ● sign language interpreter (for spoken directions only) Checklist — Materials Supplied by Administering Institution A reliable watch for timing Section 2 A clock (alarm clock-size or larger) in the event a testing room does not have one.

therefore. mark your answers on the top sheet. It is. If the complete test is given in one session. Try to answer every question in the test. When you have finished. write your age and your present class or grade level. Now. say: Look at the letters and numbers after the word “Form” in the upper right corner of your test book. but do not be concerned if you cannot answer all of them. . Next. . . say: After you have read the directions. Now I am going to give you the test books. . look up at me. On the next line. . and you may repeat them if necessary. write today’s date (give the date). On the two lines under your name. . make the best guess you can and go on to the next question. When you get your test book. say: Does everyone have a pencil?. The Listening Comprehension section will be given now. . If the test is given in two sessions.) Use only your pencil when you write on your answer sheet. . When everyone has been admitted and seated. and do not write on it. When you have finished and everyone is ready. . pausing where four dots appear to allow time for the procedure described to be carried out. say: There will be no rest break during the test. the Reading Comprehension section will be given ________ (give instructions according to your plan). Be sure all your marks are heavy and you completely fill in all the necessary ovals. Place all other materials where they cannot be seen. copy these letters and numbers onto your answer sheet. and do not translate from English any instructions for the students. . and pencils. You should read the directions slowly. read the directions on the back cover. . Continue the directions: During the test you may have nothing on your desk EXCEPT your test book. . . on the line labeled “ Test Book Form Number. essential that the instructions and timing be strictly adhered to. Give one test book to each student individually. If you make a mistake. If you are not sure of the correct answer to a question. Scores of all students tested will be comparable only if SLEP is administered under standardized conditions. say: There are two sections in this test. .” write the name of your native language. make an X through the oval you wish to change and then completely fill in the new answer oval. Do NOT open your test book until I tell you to do so. .Instructions for Administering the SLEP Test Read aloud to the students all directions printed in boxes. Do not depart from these directions or answer any questions about the content of the test. . . . answer sheet. Now. 19 . look at the box at the top of your answer sheet and write your name on the line provided. .” (Show the group where to find the form designation on the test book and where to write it on the answer sheet. (Give a pencil to anyone who does not have one. These answer sheets are two-ply sets.) Does everyone understand what to do?. Continue the directions: I am now going to give you the answer sheets. When everyone is ready. say: Distribute one answer sheet set to each student. . on the line labeled “Native (First) Language. . DO NOT separate the sheets.

Find the answer spaces for Section 1 on your answer sheet. No one may leave the room until all materials have been collected and counted. During the time allowed for a section. Now open your test book to the directions for Section 1 and read along as they are read on the CD. Now look over your answer sheet carefully. and begin work.” Turn off the machine. Start the recording. and you may not use note paper. If you cannot clearly hear these statements. Each of the two sections in this test has a different time limit. you must stay in your seat until everyone is dismissed. go to the directions on the next page. Do not put your answer sheet inside your test book. When you can account for all materials. read them. 20 . say: Stop work on Section 1. . Make any necessary adjustments or seating changes after the completion of the introductory statements (which may be replayed if necessary). Stop work. I cannot make any changes. .After everyone has finished writing the form number. dismiss the students. raise your hand. After exactly 45 minutes. You may not make notes in your test book or on your answer sheet. Turn to the directions for Section 2 in your test book. . pencil. Do NOT work on Section 1. All the directions for this section are given on the recording you will hear in a moment. be sure you have the correct number of each. Once the test begins. Collect the test books and then the answer sheets. you will hear the speaker say “End of recording. I am going to collect the test books first and then the answer sheets. and erasers. and in the appropriate order. you must work only on that section. At the beginning of the recording. on the answer sheet. Close your test book and keep it closed. say: Remember that you should have nothing on your desk but your test book. Be sure all the marks you made are dark and completely fill the ovals. BEGIN THE TEST. check to be certain that each examinee has completed the identification information at the top of the answer sheet. Please raise your hand now if you have any questions or do not understand. If you are giving the complete test in one session. It is very important that you make any necessary adjustments at this time so all students can clearly hear the recording. Be sure that you mark your answers only in the proper places on your answer sheet. answer sheet. say: Answer any questions students may have about procedures. each of the speakers will make an introductory statement. Even if you finish before time is called. and you may not talk until you are dismissed. raise your hand immediately so I can make adjustments. Section 2 should be started as soon as the recording for Section 1 is completed. As you collect the answer sheets. You (and/or your assistants) should walk around the room as soon as the students begin working to be sure everyone is working on the correct section and is marking the answers in the appropriate area. You may not ask any questions once the test begins. At the conclusion of Section 1. After you turn off the machine. During the next 45 minutes you may work only on Section 2. or if you need another pencil. then say: The first section of the test is Listening Comprehension. If you find something wrong with your test book during the test. If you are giving the test in two sessions.

Now look over your answer sheet carefully. say: I am now going to give you your answer sheet. . Try to answer every question. check to make certain it is the same one you used for Section 1. say: Stop work on Section 1. and pencils. answer sheet. but do not be concerned if you cannot answer all of them. say: When you are certain that everyone has provided the identification information at the top of his or her answer sheet. look up at me. and make your marks heavy enough so that you completely fill in the oval spaces. . Close your test book and keep it closed. Please raise your hand now if you have any questions or do not understand. say: After you have read the directions. No one may leave the room until all materials have been collected. I am going to collect the test books first and then the answer sheets. Do not look at Section 1 during this part of the test. Now remove from your desk everything but your test book. You may leave now. say: Collect the test books and then the answer sheets. You may not make notes in your test book. READING COMPREHENSION Note: If students are to use a separate answer sheet for Section 2. raise your hand. . If you find something wrong with your test book during the test. read only the directions on the back cover. When everyone is ready. on your answer sheet. and have them complete the identification information at the top of the answer sheet. As you collect the answer sheets. 21 . will be given ________ (give instructions according to your plan). If you finish Section 2 before time is called. you must stay in your seat until everyone is dismissed. Reading Comprehension. If you are not sure of the correct answer to a question. When you have finished. If the students are to use the same answer sheet they used for Section 1. or on note paper. Skip the next instruction and read the subsequent instructions aloud. When you get your test book. Does everyone have a pencil? (Give a pencil to anyone who does not have one. make the best guess you can and go on to the next question.) Be sure to use only your pencil to mark your answers to the question. SECTION 2. check to be certain that each examinee has completed the identification information at the top of the answer sheet. Do not put your answer sheet inside your test book. . Do not open the test book yet. after everyone has been admitted and seated. . say: Section 2 of the test. or if you need another pencil.IF YOU ARE GIVING THE TEST IN TWO SESSIONS: Immediately after you turn off the machine. Hand one test book to each student individually. DO NOT open the test book. . You may not ask any questions once the test has begun. When you get your answer sheet. and do not write on it. Remember to mark your answers only in the proper places on your answer sheet. Be sure all the marks you made are dark and completely fill the ovals. and you may not talk until you are dismissed. When you are sure you have the correct number of test books and answer sheets. You must work ONLY on Section 2. give them the new answer sheet after they have been admitted and seated.

convert the raw score for each section to the scaled score for that form. draw a horizontal line through all answer spaces for that question with a colored pencil. Do not put your answer sheet inside your test book. No one may leave the room until all materials have been collected and counted. For each section. Form 5. check to be certain that each examinee has completed the identification information at the top of the answer sheet. open your test book to Section 2. and begin work.Answer any questions students may have about procedures. scan each one for improper markings. Wherever a student has clearly indicated more than one answer to a question. This is the number of correct answers the examinee has chosen. adjusts for differences in difficulty that may exist from form to form. write the number of correct responses in the appropriate box at the bottom of the answer sheet. To check the raw score. dismiss the students. Any clear spot showing only the letter in the oval or a line drawn through the oval is to be counted as a wrong or omitted response. The use of scaled scores allows direct comparisons to be made among scores on all forms of the SLEP test. and it is the examinee’s raw score. and in the appropriate order. Close your test book and keep it closed. The scaled scores for Section 1 and Section 2 should then be added to obtain the scaled score for the total test. Be sure all the marks you made are dark and completely fill the ovals. Remove the top ply of the answer sheet set and count the number of marks that coincide with the preprinted correct responses. and you may not talk until you are dismissed. using the conversion table for Form 4. say: Stop work. Then. then say: You will have 45 minutes to work on Section 2. erase the extra mark so it will not be scored. Collect the test books and then the answer sheets. When you are sure you have the correct number of test books and answer sheets. or Form 6 (pages 24-26). Find the answer spaces for Section 2 on your answer sheet. Now look over your answer sheet carefully. The two-ply answer sheets for the SLEP test are designed for hand scoring. be sure the number of correct responses and the number of omitted and incorrect responses equal the number of questions in the section. After exactly 45 minutes. I am going to collect the test books first and then the answer sheets. Scoring the Answer Sheets Scores of all the students tested will be comparable only if the SLEP test is given under the same conditions as those followed in administrations of the test from which statistical data were gathered. Write the scaled score for each section in the appropriate box for the section. As you collect the answer sheets. and thus. in effect. You (and/or your assistants) should walk around the room as soon as the students begin working to be sure everyone is working on the correct section and is marking the answers in the appropriate area. they cannot be scored by machine. 22 . Before scoring the answer sheets. on the answer sheet. If a student has partially erased one choice and it is clear that another choice is the intended answer.

the chances are two out of three that the student’s obtained score will be between 53 and 57 (55 plus or minus 2). The index that is commonly used to describe the degree of precision in a measurement is called the standard error of measurement. As such. The score conversion tables on pages 24-26 should be used to convert raw scores on different SLEP forms to the common scale described above. and type of program enrollment can be found in the technical supplement available on request. It is important that you use the appropriate conversion table for the form you have administered in order to convert a student’s raw scores correctly. a two-point change in a scaled score near the mean may move an examinee as much as 11 percent within the distribution. which can be interpreted as an overall performance better than 91 percent of the norm group. gender. The same Listening raw score on SLEP Form 5 equals a scaled score of 21 for this section. an examinee who receives a raw score of 52 (52 correct answers) on the Listening Comprehension section of Form 4 would receive a scaled score of 18 for this section. Using the scaled scores obtained by referring to the score conversion tables ensures that the scaled scores on alternate forms of the test represent comparable levels of language proficiency. regardless of the particular form that was administered. if the scaled score obtained by the student is 28 on the Reading Comprehension section. The greatest variation in rank usually occurs with scaled scores near the mean.650 nonnative English speaking students enrolled in U. An individual’s scores can vary just by chance from one test administration to another. variation in scaled scores due to less than precise measurement can also affect an examinee’s rank within a distribution. The percentile ranks for SLEP scores shown on page 27 can be used to compare one student’s performance with that of other students who have taken the test. For all forms of SLEP. The scores for the SLEP test are not perfectly precise ability indicators. For example. These percentile ranks are based on the performance of 1. The supplement also reports the results of a validity study comparing teachers’ evaluations of students with their SLEP scores. Although percentile ranks provide some additional information that can aid in the interpretation of an examinee’s score. Finally. for example. SLEP scaled scores are neither the number nor the percentage of questions answered correctly. the raw scores (number of correct responses) for each section of the test must be converted to scaled scores. In order to interpret the scores. Scores for each form of SLEP are on the same common scale. while the same two-point change in a scaled score at either end of the distribution moves the examinee only a few percentile ranks.S. Thus. Each school should make its own decisions regarding the use of SLEP scores to help in placing students or in deciding the courses of study in which students should enroll. Because alternate forms of the same test may differ slightly in difficulty. for example. local norms should be developed whenever possible. Percentile Ranks Comparing a student’s scores to the known minimum and maximum possible scores provides limited information. About two-thirds of the obtained scores can be expected to fall between one standard error below the true score and one standard error above the true score. 55. more relevant comparisons are made with the scores of examinees that have similar characteristics. 23 . that if a student obtains a scaled score of 27 on the Listening Comprehension section. even when there is no change in the student’s true ability. the total score for this student is 55 (sum of 27 and 28) corresponding to a percentile rank of 91. The standard error of measurement for the SLEP total score is approximately two scaled score points (see table on page 6). more appropriate comparisons can be made by referring to percentile ranks. Thus. Naturally. This means that if a student’s “true” ability score (the score the student would earn if the test could measure his or her ability with perfect precision) is. the maximum possible scaled scores for the Listening and Reading Comprehension sections are 32 and 35. From this table it can be determined. there are no passing or failing scores for the SLEP test. Tables comparing students by grade. the minimum and maximum scaled scores are the following: Lowest Scaled Score Highest Scaled Score Listening Comprehension Reading Comprehension Total 10 10 20 32 35 67 While it is possible for a student to achieve a scaled score of 10 for each section of the test. on Form 6 it results in a scaled score of 19 for the section. duration of English study (both in the United States and outside). Similarly. They provide a common yardstick on which to evaluate how well a student performed on that section of the test. The maximum possible total scaled score is 67. The degree of change in rank within a distribution depends on the spread of scores within the distribution. with a minimum total scaled score of 20. respectively. public schools in grades seven through twelve during February and March 2003. native language. the student has performed better than 92 percent of the students in the norm group. length of residence in the United States. The conversion tables were derived by a statistical procedure known as equating. that student has performed better than 80 percent of the students in the norm group.Interpreting SLEP Scores Scaled Scores Scores for the SLEP test consist of a score for each section and a score for the total test. the equating process adjusts the resulting scaled scores such that no student is advantaged or disadvantaged by the particular form of the test that was administered.

SECONDARY LEVEL ENGLISH PROFICIENCY TEST SCORE CONVERSION TABLE Form 4 Listening Comprehension Raw Score Scaled Score Raw Score 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Scaled Score 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Raw Score Reading Comprehension Scaled Score Raw Score 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Scaled Score 20 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 15 14 14 13 13 12 12 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 74 73 72 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 32 31 30 29 29 28 27 27 26 25 25 24 23 23 22 22 21 21 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 17 16 16 15 15 14 14 14 13 13 12 12 12 11 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 35 35 35 35 34 34 34 33 33 33 32 32 31 31 30 30 29 29 28 28 27 27 26 26 25 25 24 24 23 23 22 22 22 21 21 24 .

SECONDARY LEVEL ENGLISH PROFICIENCY TEST SCORE CONVERSION TABLE Form 5 Listening Comprehension Raw Score Scaled Score Raw Score 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Scaled Score 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Raw Score Reading Comprehension Scaled Score Raw Score 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Scaled Score 17 17 17 16 16 15 15 15 14 14 13 13 12 12 12 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 74 73 72 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 32 31 30 30 29 29 28 28 27 27 26 26 25 25 25 24 24 23 23 22 22 21 21 20 20 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 15 14 14 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 29 28 28 28 27 27 27 26 26 25 25 25 24 24 23 23 23 22 22 21 21 21 20 20 20 19 19 18 18 25 .

SECONDARY LEVEL ENGLISH PROFICIENCY TEST SCORE CONVERSION TABLE Form 6 Listening Comprehension Raw Score Scaled Score Raw Score 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Scaled Score 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Raw Score Reading Comprehension Scaled Score Raw Score 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Scaled Score 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 16 15 15 14 14 13 13 12 12 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 74 73 72 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 32 31 30 29 28 28 27 27 26 26 25 24 24 23 23 22 22 21 21 20 20 19 19 18 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 14 14 13 13 12 12 12 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 33 32 32 31 31 31 30 30 29 29 29 28 28 27 27 27 26 26 26 25 25 24 24 23 23 23 22 22 21 21 20 20 20 26 .

during February and March 2003) Listening Comprehension Scaled Score 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 % with Lower Score 99+ 99+ 98 94 87 80 75 68 64 58 53 47 42 38 33 29 25 22 18 15 11 9 Reading Comprehension Scaled Score 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 % with Lower Score 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+ 98 96 95 92 88 84 78 73 67 59 54 48 39 33 25 20 14 9 6 4 2 Scaled Score 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 Total Test % with Lower Score 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+ 98 97 96 94 93 91 88 86 83 80 77 74 71 68 65 61 58 % with Lower Score 56 52 49 46 43 40 36 33 30 27 25 23 20 18 16 13 11 10 8 6 4 3 2 Scaled Score 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 27 .PERCENTILE RANKS FOR SLEP SCORES (Based on the Performance of 1.650 Nonnative Students tested in Public Schools in the U.S.

● Consider the kinds and levels of English proficiency required in different classes of study and the resources available at the school for improving the English language skills of nonnative speakers. The standard error of measurement should be understood and taken into consideration in making decisions about an individual’s test performance or in establishing appropriate critical score ranges for the school’s academic demands. ● Do not use rigid “cut-off ” scores in evaluating a student’s performance on SLEP. ● Consider section scores as well as total scores. it may not be appropriate to place a student with a low score on the Reading Comprehension section in a course that requires a great deal of unsupervised reading. The total score on SLEP is based on the scores on the two sections of the test. Students in technical courses may be successful even though their scores are lower than those obtained by students entering courses requiring high verbal proficiency. However. but a relatively high score on the other section. All subjects may not require the same level of language proficiency in order for students to perform acceptably. such as students’ ratings of the adequacy of their language skills for study in English. Institutions that use SLEP scores should collect information on subsequent performance by students who are placed in mainstream classrooms. ● Consider SLEP scores in interpreting a student’s performance on other standardized tests. SLEP measures an individual’s ability in several areas of English language proficiency. such as test scores. If an individual’s SLEP scores are low and the score on another test is also low. Students with limited English-speaking ability are frequently required to take other standardized tests. may have greater initial difficulty in lecture classes or in situations that depend heavily on comprehension of spoken English. For example. Confidentiality of Scores Scores obtained by persons taking the Secondary Level English Proficiency Test should be released by the institution administering the test only with the informed consent of the individuals. which could be significant. Because test scores are not perfect measures of a person’s ability. it may be possible 28 . However. on a secure basis and to limit access to such data to authorized recipients. they may have different section scores. language-learning aptitude. institutions are obligated to maintain data about an individual. such standards should be supported by the collection of data based on the student population in a particular district or at a particular institution. evidence of an individual’s ability on these variables may be available and should be considered when determining an appropriate educational placement. and general achievement. Similarly. SLEP scores may be helpful in interpreting the scores obtained on other tests. Thus. For instance. Local Validation Studies The establishment of appropriate standards of language proficiency for placement through the use of SLEP scores can have a favorable effect on the success rate of nonnative English-speaking students. intelligence. While a number of students may achieve the same total score. and cultural adaptability. motivation. The test is not designed to provide information about scholastic aptitude. Expectancy tables can be used to show the distribution of performance on the criterion variables for students with given SLEP scores. Under federal privacy legislation. The following guidelines are presented to assist schools in arriving at reasonable decisions. or classroom teachers’ ratings of the adequacy of students’ language skills. Summary data or combined data for groups of examinees should be released with discretion to appropriate groups or agencies and only for the purpose intended. such as tests of reading skills. a student with a low score on the Listening Comprehension section. In such cases. Scores may be compared to a variety of criterion measures. not solely on SLEP scores. the use of rigid cut-off scores should be avoided. ● Base the evaluation of a student’s readiness to begin academic work on all available relevant information.Additional Factors To Consider In Using SLEP Scores A school that uses SLEP scores should consider certain factors in evaluating an individual’s performance on SLEP and in arriving at SLEP score requirements that are appropriate for the institution. one can infer that performance on the other test might have been impaired because of deficiencies in English. This information may be useful in raising or lowering the standard as necessary. Each student should be informed that certain faculty members and others directly concerned with the student’s education may have access to this information. mathematics may require a lesser degree of English language proficiency than social studies.

M. Carleton.) References Cowell.. R. Subscores may also be taken into consideration when studying the validity of SLEP score standards. (1951). Toronto. and phonology.” The ORTESOL Newsletter. The paper compares the SLEP and Comprehensive English Language Test for Speakers of English as a Second Language (CELT) Listening Comprehension sections in terms of item type. April 1981. and actual test results based on some 250 adult students. “Performing it more naturally may make it easier and more accurate. L. Assessment of the relationship of subscores to the criterion variables can further refine the process of interpreting SLEP scores. S. S. content characteristics. 297-334. or who rate themselves as not being hampered by lack of English skills while pursuing a regular program of study.. 1980. Ilyin. 16.to depict the number or percentage of students at each SLEP score level who attain a certain language proficiency rating as assigned by teachers. a simplified item response theory model. “The Language Assessment Scales. DeBoe. or to refer to other studies about the SLEP test. Districts or institutions that have only a small number of nonnative English-speaking students each year. syntax. D. This paper examines the relationship between cloze and other language proficiency tests and variation in this relationship by age and high school graduation status. Ilyin. unpublished master’s thesis. one should take into account the subject in which students are enrolled.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. may not find it feasible to conduct the recommended studies. the Reading Comprehension score may be particularly important. The author analyzed 56 SLEP multiple-choice dictation items provided by ETS in order to determine the characteristics of discriminating items. 6(3). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Cronbach. March 1983. 14. “Secondary Level English Proficiency (SLEP) Test. and Duncan. Ottawa.. The three small sample models investigated were a three-parameter logistic model. Los Angeles. D. CA: Linguametrics Group. Psychometrika. March 1983. E. semantics. W. (See References below.” University of Florida. The results indicate that differences among the small sample models were minimal. They also used parallel syntactic constructions. It suggests that SLEP be considered by junior colleges as well as secondary schools. Somewhat larger differences were found between small sample and linear equating models for scores in the lower half of the distribution for the Listening Comprehension section. data on subsequent performances has to be collected for relatively large numbers of students over an extended period of time. 29 . “Do older adults do it differently?” Paper presented at the Seventeenth Annual TESOL Convention. S. This review of SLEP focuses on the unusual language tasks required by the test. P. Item data were obtained from examinee responses to 16 SLEP pretest forms administered in the fall of 1979 and from 2 operational test forms administered in 1980 and 1981.. It concludes that these tasks assess functional understanding more directly than tests that use written or oral passages and comprehension questions. The author concludes that SLEP is a more integrative test containing more natural language tasks. The items that functioned best had distractors that resembled their keys in four areas: word position. “Applicability of a simplified three-parameter logistic model for equating tests. or that have only recently begun to require SLEP scores. DeAvila. and a one-parameter Rasch model. In such cases it may be helpful to seek information and advice from those who have more extensive experience with SLEP. p. J.” San Rafael. student and teacher reactions. This paper reports on a study comparing the effects of three small sample equating models with the linear equating model that was used to equate scores on different forms of SLEP. Good distractors used the same word as the key at the beginning and at the end of the sentence. “Specifications for a listening-dictation itemtype. to consult the normative data in this manual and the technical supplement. When analyzing and presenting such data. To be useful. V. For courses that require much reading. Spurling.” Paper presented at the Fifth Annual Language Testing Research Colloquium. and that it distinguishes better between different instructional levels than the CELT. and Seymour. J. DiFiore. 1983.

and the extent and nature of local studies concerned with validating the SLEP test.” System. pp. Princeton.. 12(1). K. Sloan. Princeton. K. An Assessment of Selected Validity-Related Properties of a Shortened Version of the Secondary Level English Proficiency Test and Locally Developed Writing Tests in the LACCD Context. 43). NJ: Educational Testing Service. 1-2. taken with other data. including multiple-choice cloze and multiple-choice dictation. and Graves.. 1983. Also reported are the findings of a validity study that involved the analysis of test scores and demographic data for U. 30 . C. can help a trained person in planning a language program. Wilson. “Using an exam as a means not an end in ESL. p. The reviewer describes SLEP and discusses appropriate uses. NJ: Educational Testing Service. NJ: Educational Testing Service. “Reliability and validity of the Secondary Level English Proficiency test. 5. 1993. 1982. This is the report of a study undertaken to obtain empirical evidence regarding aspects of the validity and usefulness for ESL placement of (a) a shortened version of the SLEP Test. Princeton.600 native-Japanese speakers applying for admission to Temple University-Japan. test users’ perceptions of the principal strengths and limitations of the test and test manual. ratings of ESL speaking proficiency based on locally developed interview procedures. and Tillberg. August 1982. 1995. B. Several innovative formats are discussed. (This review also appeared in CATESOL News. 3(1).S.” Secondary Schools SIG Newsletter. age and formal education influence the configuration of language proficiency. and the performance of each item type and the total test during an administration of SLEP to students in several countries. characteristics of examinees. Wilson.References (continued) The SLEP and several other commercial tests were administered to a group of 257 adult students. This article describes the history of SLEP.” Northern New England TESOL Newsletter. K. Uses of the Secondary Level Proficiency (SLEP) Test: A Survey of Current Practice (TOEFL Research Report No. being used for ESL placement by colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District and (b) locally developed and scored writing tests. namely. Provides information regarding testing practices and purposes. The results suggest that among adult learners. An Assessment of ValidityRelated Properties of the Secondary Level English Proficiency Test and Measures of ESL Speaking and Writing Abilities in the Temple University-Japan Context. M. The review concludes that SLEP is a useful measure of listening and reading that. 1984. K. 5(1). Wilson. This test review describes how SLEP can be used as a teaching activity. and ratings of ESL writing proficiency based on locally collected writing samples. This study was concerned with analyzing interrelationships among measures of basic ESL macroskills. The analyses were based on data for some 1. S. “Let’s look at SLEP. R. Listening Comprehension (LC) and Reading Comprehension (RC) scores provided by the correspondingly labeled sections of the SLEP test. SLEP showed the highest reliability of any of the measures. Siegel. M. The author concludes that SLEP is a useful addition to the classroom — far more useful than even the test maker might realize. public school students. 1994. the development of the test specifications. which offers an English-medium program of academic instruction.) Stansfield. M.

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