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LanguageCert recognition - banner

The LanguageCert System

The LanguageCert System (LS)

The LanguageCert System is a set of English language tests developed, evaluated, and managed using an integrated, standardised, and assured approach. Both England’s and Wales’s qualifications regulators, Ofqual and Qualifications Wales, recognise and regulate our English language tests.

The LanguageCert System tests derive from extensive item banks of pre-tested and calibrated material, and associated validation research, based on an established candidature of LanguageCert tests and exams aligned to a common underlying measurement scale. To date, the LanguageCert System has based itself on tests which cover a single CEFR level, with the exception of the LanguageCert Test of English (LTE).

Following feedback from extensive use of the LanguageCert System around the world, the LanguageCert System now also includes two multi-level test variants aimed at workers and migrants, and tertiary education applicants. These are the LanguageCert General and Academic tests.










LanguageCert
 Global Scale

CEFR
LanguageCert General
LanguageCert 
 Academic

IELTS









90 - 100
C2


90+
8.5 - 9.0
75 - 89
C1
75+
75 - 89
7.0 - 8.0
60 - 74
B2
60 - 74
60 - 74
5.5 - 6.5
40 - 59
B1
40 - 59
40 - 59
4.0 - 5.0
20 - 39
A2
20 - 39



10 - 19
A1





0 - 9
Below A1














The established scoring arrangements between the LanguageCert Global Scale and the CEFR are verified by ongoing analysis of test performance as well as by the LanguageCert research and validation programmes. Scoring arrangements for use in conjunction with specific visa requirements including the UKVI, NZQA, IRCC service are confirmed independently with the authorities and more information can be found in the respective websites. Institution entry requirements are to be verified by the institutions webpages directly.

Concordancing evidence with other testing providers (indicative IELTS below) are an illustration of the equivalencies, as verified both internally and independently by our external partners. In the middle of the scoring arrangements (LC global scale 60-80) evidence is more robust and scoring arrangements in lower and higher parts of the Global Scale should be interpreted with caution. In any case test takers need to verify the scoring requirement at the websites of the accepting institutions.

The published versions of all information that is relevant to the use of LanguageCert scores are updated regularly taking into consideration the needs of stakeholders.

 

LanguageCert General and LanguageCert Academic are designed for candidates who are not native speakers of English and who wish to achieve a high quality, internationally recognised qualification in English that is available and recognised worldwide. They are suitable for candidates who are preparing for entry to higher education, or professional employment in the UK or elsewhere, or for candidates who need to demonstrate that they have met the required level of English by passing a test with a Home Office approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) provider. Both qualifications reference the descriptions of language proficiency in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). 

LanguageCert General and LanguageCert Academic measure proficiency in the same way, to the same scale, using the same task types. The two tests have been designed and developed according to the same standard procedures. The test delivery processes and scoring methods are identical. 

LanguageCert places exam validity and reliability at the heart of its qualification development processes. LanguageCert Academic and LanguageCert General qualifications were officially launched in 2023, backed with extensive pretesting and trialling of test materials to ensure fairness, fitness-for-purpose, and comparability.
Test Statistics
LanguageCert Academic and LanguageCert General Test performance

LanguageCert Academic and LanguageCert General measure using a 100-point scale, the LanguageCert Global Scale. Candidate scores are reported by skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking), by total score and CEFR equivalence.

Reliability and standard error of measurement can provide helpful insight into a test’s performance. Reliability provides an estimate of the extent to which differences in language test scores are attributable to real differences in language proficiency rather than variations in performance that might have come about by chance. LanguageCert tests follow different scoring methods depending on the language skill being tested, and this requires different approaches to establish their reliability.

The reliability of the test as a whole is estimated from the scaled scores on the four test components using McDonald’s coefficient omega (ω) as well as Cronbach’s alpha (α) as this has been widely recommended as the preferred option for composite scores (Hayes & Coutts, 2020). 

The reliability of each subsection, along with overall performance, ranged from .84-.96. Standard error of measurement (SEM) was calculated with the formula, SD√(1 – reliability). 

Test reliability of the Listening and Reading sections

On Listening and Reading components, all test taker responses are scored as correct or incorrect, and Cronbach’s alpha for each is calculated using the sum of these scores in an item-based approach.

Test reliability of the Writing and Speaking sections

The Writing and Speaking tests are scored as polytomous (on a scale ranging from 0 to 8 points) by two raters drawn from the LanguageCert team of trained examiners working independently, each unaware of the scores awarded by the other. Reliabilities for these two components are estimated using one-way random intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC), taking the average measures. Where scores are discrepant, a senior examiner rescores the performance and it is this third score that is taken as final. 

The data below show test performance for 2023.

Test reliability, LanguageCert Academic

Section

Reliability coefficient

Reliability index

Mean

Standard Deviation

SEM

Listening

.84

Cronbach’s α

60.48

17.18

6.87

Reading

.85

Cronbach’s α

63.07

17.25

6.68

Writing .96 ICC 61.96
11.07 2.21
Speaking .89 ICC 68.43
12.76 4.23
Composite .88 McDonald’s ω 63.62
12.46 4.32
Composite .86 Cronbach’s α 63.62 12.46 4.66

SEM = standard error of measurement; ICC = intraclass correlation.

 

The statistical analyses and the demographic data comparing mean score achieved for total score and per skill split into gender and nationality can be found here: LanguageCert Academic Test Report 
 

Test reliability, LanguageCert General

Section

Reliability coefficient

Reliability index

Mean

Standard Deviation

SEM

Listening

.87

Cronbach’s α

57.17

19.63

7.08

Reading

.85

Cronbach’s α

60.90

17.29

6.70

Writing .89 ICC 58.46
13.07 4.33
Speaking .89 ICC 64.25
12.79 4.24
Composite .90 McDonald’s ω 60.39
13.72 4.34
Composite .88 Cronbach’s α 60.39 13.72 4.75

SEM = standard error of measurement; ICC = intraclass correlation.

 

The statistical analyses and the demographic data comparing mean score achieved for total score and per skill split into gender and nationality can be found here: LanguageCert General Test Report (coming soon)


Concordance studies
A concordance study is conducted between LanguageCert Academic and General tests and IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests respectively. This includes comparing tasks, exam content, and marking arrangements. It also involves the collection of test score data from test takers who have taken both LanguageCert and IELTS tests. Although the empirical concordance work is on-going, data collected thus far show that performance on the two LanguageCert tests is highly predictive of performance on their IELTS counterparts with very strong correlations between the results: r =.87 for Academic and r =.89 for General.
September 2023 / Score distribution summary statistics
 

Μean

SD

Skew

Kurtosis

Min  Max
LanguageCert Academic

63.05

14.48

-0.20

-0.03

13

 96

IELTS Academic

6.24

0.95

-0.22

-0.04

2.5

 8.5
LanguageCert General 67.59 12.50 -0.83
1.31 18  89
IELTS General Training  6.76 1.06 -0.58
0.17 3  9
Note:  For the Academic cohort, the sample size was 654. For the General cohort, the sample size was 181.

Correlations. 

 

Overall r

Reading r

Writing r

Listening r

Speaking r
Academic (n = 654)

.87

.79

.69

.70

.73

General (n = 181)

.89

.77

.76

.79

.74

Note:  r = correlation. All correlations were statistically significant at the p < .001 level.

The strong direct correlations (r > .7) for Overall performance indicate that LanguageCert exams perform in accordance with language tests designed for similar purposes, meeting or outperforming correlations between alternative tests as reported above and IELTS. Subscales for both Academic and General display moderately strong (r > .6) to strong correlations.

Over time, LanguageCert expects to extend the concordance study to the full range of international tests recognised for similar purposes and will be publishing the findings in extensive reports.

Download the concordance report here.